Man City get their Pep
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have long been considered a likely match: Football's most admired coach and a club with massive spending power seeking to become the dominant force in Europe.
It's been four years in the making, but finally they'll be united.
City announced yesterday that Guardiola will take over as manager on a three-year contract starting next season, furthering the English team's goal to be a global superpower.
Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini, who minutes before City's announcement ended a pre-game news conference by saying he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.
The news was sudden but not unexpected.
Guardiola announced in December that he would be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of this season, after three years in charge when he enhanced his status as soccer's most sought-after coach. Then, last month, he said his next job would be in the English Premier League.
City was always his most likely destination. Backed by Abu Dhabi cash since 2008, the club has been transformed into the most successful in England of recent times, winning two league titles and two cup competitions since 2011 and assembling an all-star squad including players like Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Yaya TourE and Kevin De Bruyne.
City have tried to play the "Barcelona way," with an attractive passing style and attacking approach favoured by Guardiola, and enticed two former BarAa executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Beguiristain to the board in 2012.
Guardiola was considered the missing piece, and now City have their man.