Guardiola to replace Pellegrini as Man City manager next season

Manchester, Feb 1 (IANS) Outgoing coach of German champions Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola, on Monday agreed to a three-year contract to become English football club Manchester City’s new manager from the next season.

The 45-year-old will replace current City coach Manuel Pellegrini, who will leave on June 30.

“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 club said in an official statement on Monday.

“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,” the statement said.

Pellegrini succeeded Italian Roberto Mancini in 2013 and took the club to an English Premier League and League Cup double the following season.

He has won 64 of his 99 Premier League games as a manager, a record only eclipsed by Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho, who won 73 of his opening 99 league games at Chelsea.

City are in contention to win four trophies under Pellegrini this season.

They are already through to the final of the League Cup and are second in the league behind Leicester City.

They are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and will play Chelsea in the fifth round of the Football Association (FA) Cup.

City said Pellegrini was supportive of the decision and took it in good stead.

“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.”

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