Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been hotly tipped to walk away from the Etihad and is rumored to be currently “paving the way” for his exit in a surprising move that won’t necessarily see him returning to his Barcelona grounds of old despite intense speculation linking him with a move to the Nou Camp. That’s the opinion of transfer expert Ian McGarry.
Guardiola’s future is dizzyingly still up in the air, with the City boss in the final year of his contract although the Spaniard is yet to sign an extension, remaining coy over his future though he is believed to be in talks with the club.
However he hinted on Friday that he wanted to be at City beyond next summer, saying:
“I am incredibly happy here. I’m delighted to be in Manchester and I hope I can do a good job this season to stay longer.”
Guardiola’s ultimate goal at City, one which is shared by the club, is to win the Champions League, having fallen short last season as they lost in the quarter-finals to French side Lyon, and are desperate to go one better this season.
Speculation had been rife that he would be more willing to leave the Etihad if they were to win the European Cup, but now he could be presented with a whole new different alternative.
After Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s recent resignation together with his board, the various presidential candidates started mooting their various proposals and grand visions for the club, with one in particular, frontrunner Victor Font expressing his desire to bring Guardiola back to the Nou Camp at the earliest opportunity to reunite him with Lionel Messi.
But in a new twist to the plot, McGarry revealed to the Transfer Window Podcast that the Etihad manager could instead opt to head over to America and manage City’s sister club, New York City FC, claiming that Guardiola’s contract includes a clause allowing him to take over at the Major League soccer side at any point to replace current boss Ronny Deila.
Transfer expert McGarry also referenced the fact that Guardiola has a family home in New York, and that he had spent a year there on sabbatical after he left Barcelona prior to taking over as boss of Bayern Munich.
“He is now in his fifth year at Manchester City, which is longer than he has spent at any club,” he said. “He did four years at Barcelona and three years at Bayern Munich.
“In his last year at Bayern Munich – which was the last year of his original contract – in the January before his contract expired, he went to the Bayern Munich Christmas Party and when asked by [club] president Karl-Heinz Rummenigger if he was going to stay he replied ‘no. I’m going to go.
“Rummenigger asked him where and he replied ‘Manchester’, but didn’t say if it was City or United.
“He does have a tendancy to set himself a tenure limit at any club.
“He has surprised many people who are close to him by staying longer at Manchester City than he has anywhere else.
“However, he does also have an option in his contract to become head coach at City Football Group’s sister club which, of course, is New York City Football Club, a place where he has a family home.
“He spent his sabbatical year there before joining Bayern Munich.
“It does seem to me that he is effectively paving the way for his exit.
“City have been talking to Mauricio Pochettino and his representatives over what could happen next regarding Guardiola and Pochettino replacing him.”