The Mirror has a story in Friday’s paper claiming that Pep Guardiola has a preliminary agreement to take over at Manchester City.
The Mirror reports that FIFA agent Francois Gallardo told a Spanish radio station that City are already plotting to replace manager Roberto Mancini.
“Guardiola has a pre-deal to be the next manager of Manchester City,” he claimed. “No matter if Milan or whoever make offers to him.”
Guardiola is currently on a one-year sabbatical, but that has not stopped City preparing for his arrival.
To make Guardiola’s transition to English football as smooth as possible, City have appointed former Barcelona executive Txiki Begiristain as their director of football in October, to work alongside chief executive Ferran Soriano, another Nou Camp alum.
And in what will no doubt be surprising news to City’s England No.1 Joe Hart, Gallardo claimed City will also try to sign Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes.
“It will be an offer to stun your mind,” he added. “If I were Barcelona, I would be very concerned.”
At first glance the Valdes transfer does not make a lot of sense as Joe Hart is a better shot stopper than Valdes. But Guardiola’s tika-taka style of football, relies on a goalkeeper who is comfortable playing playing with his feet as much as his hands, as attacks often start with a pass from the goalkeeper to the center half. If Guardiola is thinking about Man City tactics that much, that could indicate that he is pretty far down the path towards joining City next summer.
And if the rumours of Jose Mourinho eventually taking over from Sir Alex at Man United are to be believed, then the press in Manchester must be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of Guardiola and Mourinho managing in the same city.