LONDON. — Pep Guardiola will take over as coach of Manchester City on a three-year deal, the English Premiership soccer club said yesterday after announcing the departure of incumbent Manuel Pellegrini at season’s end. “Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalised contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC head coach for the 2016/17 EPL season onwards,” the club said in a statement.
“The contract is for three years. These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012. “Out of respect for Manuel Pellegrini and the players, the club wishes to make its decision public to remove the unnecessary burden of speculation.
“Manuel, who is fully supportive of the decision to make this communication, is entirely focused on achieving his targets for the season ahead and retains the respect and commitment of all involved with the leadership of the club.”
The club’s surprise statement ends considerable speculation linking them with outgoing Bayern Munich boss Guardiola and over Pellegrini’s future. Pellegrini first broke the news yesterday at his press conference ahead of tonight’s clash at Sunderland, while City affirmed they had discussed the job with Guardiola in 2012.
City’s desire to appoint Guardiola had been an open secret and they released a statement yesterday stating he will join the club. Pellegrini said the club did not go behind his back in appointing Guardiola.
Pellegrini told a press conference yesterday ahead of their tonight night’s clash against Sunderland: “Before I finish, I want to tell you I have talked with the club and I will finish my contract on the original date.
“I signed for one year more, but with the clause that the club or me can choose not to use that stuff now, so I finish here on the original date, June 30, so there is not the speculation.
“The club are not doing anything behind me, I knew this one month ago, but I don’t think it’s good to have rumour or speculation about these things, so I prefer to finish today, which is why I have told the players and I have told the Press. I also spoke to the club two weeks ago and said that I would do it.”
Pellegrini will be confident of leaving Manchester on a high with his side currently in with a shout in several competitions this season.
City currently sit second in the English Premier League table, three points behind Leicester City having secured victory in 13 of their opening 23 league games this season.
The Chilean’s squad are also through to the Capital One Cup final where they will take on Liverpool looking to win in for the second time in three years. — Sky Sports.