Manchester City: No Guarantees For Pep Stay

Manchester City has finally announced the appointment of Pep Guardiola as their next manager. The current Bayern Munich Coach revealed in December, 2015, that he was set to leave the Bavarian club at the end of his current contract, which ends in June.

Bayern announced a few days later that former Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain, and Chelsea boss, Carlo Ancelotti, would take over from Pep from next season. Since then, speculation regarding Pep Guardiola’s next club increased before he finally revealed last month that he was destined for the Premier League. Once he made that statement, it became obvious that he was heading to Manchester City, where he has connections with former bosses at Barcelona.

Today, February 1, 2016, Manchester City made an official announcement that current manager Manuel Pellegrini will be leaving at the end of the season, as earlier planned before the Uruguayan renewed his contract at the start of 2015/2016 season. Manchester City released a statement via the club website at 1:13 p.m. GMT to confirm the appointment.

“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.”

Manchester City further confirmed that the current manager, Manuel Pellegrini, is fully supportive of the decision, saying that “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.”

While this statement appears very professional and respectful to Manuel Pellegrini, it is not. In fact, it could prove arrogant at the end of the season, should Manchester City go on to win trophies in a majority of the competitions they are currently in. The Manchester Club is currently involved in all four competitions, and recently booked its place in the finals of the English League cup. Manchester City also finished on top of their Champions League group, which included last year’s finalists, Juventus and 4-time Europa League winners Sevilla from Spain.

Manchester City is currently placed second in the Barclays Premier League table, three points behind surprise leaders Leicester City after 23 matches. Manuel Pellegrini has won 64 of his 99 Barclays Premier League matches in charge at Manchester City, which is the second best record after Jose Mourinho’s record of 73 wins in his first 99 matches during his first spell with Chelsea.

When speaking to journalists with regard to Manchester City’s announcement, Pellegrini said that he talked to the club telling them that he wished to finish his contract on the Original date, which is June 30, 2016. “We signed a contract for one more year, but with a clause that one of the club or me cannot use that extended contract. So I will finish here on the original date,” the current Manchester City manager told journalists on Monday.

“They are not doing anything behind me. I knew this a month ago. But I don’t think it’s good, this rumour and speculation about different things. I would prefer to finish the speculation today. That’s why I told the press, I told the players, and I spoke with the club two weeks ago saying that I would do it.”

Manchester City’s confirmation of Pep Guardiola’s appointment will have excited several City fans, as it is now clear that the club is making a statement on where it wants to be in the next few years. Machester City boasts strong financial backing from its owners and recently started generating profits. However, this appointment also comes with a huge responsibility. While Pep Guardiola has experienced success wherever he’s coached, the Premier League is totally a different animal, as current Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has come to acknowledge.

The question, though, is that given the cash outlay that Pep will be handed, will the City owners tolerate any signs of underperformance? To be clear, Roberto Mancini was fired despite having guided the club to an FA Cup triumph and Premier League glory. Manuel Pellegrini is still the bookie’s favorite to lift the Premier League and the League Cup double this season, a feat he achieved in his first season in charge at Manchester City.

Now, since the decision has already been made for him to leave the club at the end of the season regardless of what he achieves, what happens if Pep Guardiola can’t match those achievements. Will Manchester City stick with him? It’s highly doubtful. They have shown in the past that failure is not an option at the club. Sven Goran Erikson, Mark Hughes, Roberto Mancini, and now Manuel Pellegrini can be credible witnesses to that.

Therefore, City fans shouldn’t get overexcited because Manchester City cannot guarantee a Pep stay. In addition, it is also only a 3-year contract, which means that no long-term assurances at the moment while Pep Guardiola has also demonstrated that he is not the kind of manager that is eager to stay at a single club beyond his first contract. He even quit at Barcelona, so who are Manchester City anyway?

[Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images]

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