Pep Guardiola to Manchester City: rumours of Bayern Munich coach replacing Manuel Pellegrini denied by club

City move quickly to deny reports from Qatar that Spaniard had reached an agreement to take over next season

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The Independent Online

Reports from Qatar that Pep Guardiola is set to take over at Manchester City have been strongly refuted by the club.

Manuel Pellegrini, the current incumbent in the City hotseat, has found his position increasingly unsafe in recent months thanks to the oil-rich club's failure to defend their Premier League title and make tangible progress in the Champions League.

Guardiola, who has himself endured two years of Champions League disappointment at Bayern Munich, with the Bavarian giants again facing exit at the feet of Barcelona, has long been linked with a move to Manchester - more so since his contract is up at the end of next season.

Bayern were also eliminated from the German Cup semi-finals in a penalty shootout defeat to their great rivals Borussia Dortmund last week, in which former Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski was concussed.

But despite Guardiola's fragile relationship with several key members of Bayern's staff - including the club doctor, Hans-Wilhelm Muller Wohlfahrt, who left in April following a row with the highly-strung Spaniard over injuries, it appears an escape to the east side of Manchester is highly unlikely.

A Tweet sent on Saturday by beInSports' Arabic account said: "Urgent - sources beIN SPORTS: Manchester City reached a tentative agreement with Bayern Munich coach Guardiola to train the team for next season."

That was corroborated by Richard Keys, the former presenter of Premier League football on Sky and now an employee of beIN.

Dietmar Hamann, the former City midfielder, then waded in to confirm that he had verified the information with beIN, though Guillem Balague, Sky Sports'  Spanish football expert, rubbished it.

But despite the twin presences at City of Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, former Barcelona employees under Guardiola at Barcelona, it appears the rumours have little foundation, with City moving quickly to deny them.

There are several layers of irony to City's managerial situation - not least the fact that Jurgen Klopp, Guardiola's great rival in his time in Germany, is available and potentially desired by City, having chosen to leave Dortmund at the end of the season.

City take on Queens Park Rangers today with their place in next season's Champions League already secured.

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