Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola will become the coach of Manchester City next season, joining the club on a three–year contract, the Premier League side announced Monday.
Current Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini announced Monday that he would leave the club at the conclusion of the season. In a statement, Manchester City said it decided not to delay the announcement of Guardiola’s deal to avoid the distraction of speculation during the remainder of the season.
Guardiola’s contract with Bayern Munich expires at the end of this season. The club announced in December that Guardiola would not be returning, and would be replaced by former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti. The move will mark Guardiola's first foray into the Premier League after leading Barcelona to Champions League and La Liga success and guiding Bayern to consecutive Bundesliga titles. It will also reunite him with Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, two chief executives at Manchester City with whom he worked at Barcelona.
In its statement, Manchester City wrote:
Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalized contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC Head Coach for the 2016/17 EPL season onwards. 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.
Pellegrini had signed a contract extension with Manchester City through 2017 this past August.
Manchester City is currently in second in the English Premier League behind Leicester City, trailing by three points through 23 matches.
- Erin Flynn