Manchester City seized the limelight on transfer deadline day with the announcement that Pep Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini as manager at the Etihad next season.
On a day which is usually reserved for transfer tittle-tattle, the Chilean announced during his weekly press briefing that he plans to stand aside to facilitate Guardiola’s much anticipated arrival on June 30.
While the contents of the revelations were hardly surprising, given the deluge of speculation about Pellegrini’s position, the timing caught the world of football off guard.
In an official statement handed to members of the media this morning, the Manchester club said: “Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalised contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC Head Coach for the 16/17 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.”
It’s safe to say Twitter was set ablaze by the announcement...
Guardiola's return is set to rekindle one of German football's biggest managerial rivalries
Can't wait for Guardiola to arrive at City only to be manhandled by Jürgen Klopp again— GC (@Flannology) February 1, 2016
And many think the 2016/14 Premier League title is done and dusted
With Guardiola at City next season, I can't see past them as champions for the next few years. Hope I'm wrong though.— Stella (@StellaGooner) February 1, 2016
While others were justs swept up in the emotion of it all
What a day!! Pep Guardiola confirmed I am so buzzing— Joe Stark (@StarkyTheSparky) February 1, 2016
Contrasts with United's situation are stark
Guardiola to City confirmed. Oh my days. Meanwhile #MUFC cutting academy and scouting staff.... Thrilling.— paul galvin (@pgal10) February 1, 2016
Yet Pep's successor is already in the pipeline
Arteta was a better footballer than Guardiola. Will deffo be a better manager— G-rude (@GoonerJDK) February 1, 2016
And the Spaniard shares dubious company
Guardiola arrives with Heisenberg. pic.twitter.com/JKN3HJA4uD— John Brewin (@JohnBrewinESPN) February 1, 2016
But some still can't get over the hurt of being spurned
I thought Guardiola was a better coach than that. Never mind.— James Maguire (@maguirenumber6) February 1, 2016
City's statement added: “Manuel Pellegrini, 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 could yet win the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup with the Sky Blues still in with a shot in all four competitions.
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