On the usual dramatic night of transfer wheeling and dealing in England, it was the news of Pep Guardiola’s impending move into the hot seat at #Manchester City which stole the headlines. Rather than delaying the announcement, the Etihad heavyweights opted to make their position clear and hence open up the debate about the possibilities once he joins his new club at the end of the current season.
Three-year deal for Guardiola
Guardiola will join City as their new head coach from German giants Bayern Munich on an initial three-year deal. It is believed that a huge ‘war chest’ will be made available to help with the strengthening of the current squad, although equally likely is the trimming of those players who are deemed surplus to requirements going forward.
With Manuel Pellegrini still very much in charge as his side continue to chase silverware on all fronts this season, the timing could be questioned. Yet the current incumbent provided a dignified response to the news of his replacement, intimating that he had been made aware of the developments throughout the discussions and could have known of his forthcoming departure as early as a month ago.
Intriguingly, the two men could yet clash this season in the Champions League if both sides make it through to the later stages of the competition. That would be a test not only of the desire by the City players to send Pellegrini off in style, but also provide an insight into whether the decision to part with the current boss was a sound choice or otherwise.
What will the future bring?
The gossip and debate has already begun as to the likely impact that the Spanish maestro will have on City. Whether their European journey this season results in glory or not, it is clear that Guardiola will be expected to bring them Champions League success in the near future.
In order to do that he will need to attract players of the requisite calibre, something that should not be a major issue given the finances at the Manchester club and Guardiola’s excellent reputation.
Already many are suggesting that Yaya Toure’s days at the club are numbered. The Ivorian midfield driving force was deemed surplus to requirements during the new coach’s time in charge at Barcelona, and there seems little reason to believe that Guardiola will have mellowed in his outlook towards him subsequently.
Sterling and Silva could flourish
Other star names may well prosper under his tutelage, with David Silva for one expected to fit well with his model for how the game should be played. Raheem Sterling could also develop into the global star that English fans hope he can become, should Guardiola see fit to instruct him in that direction.
It promises to be the new man’s toughest task thus far in his post-playing days career. Although City consistently seem capable of chasing domestic silverware each year in England, their European travels have not been as fruitful.
Barca and Bayern targets
Expect a summer of movements on the transfer front in that regard, as Guardiola seeks to reinforce with Europe in mind. An interesting target would be someone of the ilk of Andres Iniesta, the Spanish midfielder and Barcelona captain. He would fit nicely into his countryman’s work ethic and technically has few equals on the world stage. Iniesta is also a proven winner, having lifted the Champions League at Barca and both the European Championships and World Cup with his national side.
Guardiola’s current employers Bayern may also be wary of future approaches for their star players, should there be an opportunity to prise them away from the German champions.