Begiristain’s arrival, combined with that of recently appointed chief executive Ferran Soriano, another to have worked at the Nou Camp, had led to speculation that the stage is being set for Pep Guardiola to become Man City manager as he would be surrounded by familiar faces at the Ethiad.
City are trying to downplay this, telling ESPN today:
‘Roberto has won three trophies in two-and-a-half years and was given a new five-year contract in the summer, and that would not have happened if the powers that be thought they had the wrong manager.’
‘No, this is not about the manager, as some mischief-makers might assume. The possible recruitment of another former Barcelona man, that is just not what is going on here.
‘We have a monster of a project with our new academy and Brian is going to oversee that while Txiki comes in as we need a division of roles.
‘Brian [Marwood] met up with Txiki on Thursday and Friday and Brian has the respect of the chairman and has been a constant in all that has been going on with some big changes and the creation of a philosophy and everyone is working together toward that end.’
It will be interesting to see how Mancini works with Begiristain, who will be responsible for player recruitment at the club. Mancini clashed often with Brian Marwood who previously has that position.
While Mancini has been a success domestically at City winning the FA Cup and the Premier League, they have really struggled in Europe the last two seasons. This is a familiar scene for Mancini’s sides as he won three Serie A titles at Europe, but his teams ultimately underperformed in Europe.
It is a fascinating prospect of Guardiola taking over at Man City. His record at Barcelona was fantastic, but many soccer fans wonder if he can have the same success with Messi and Xavi?
There is also the possibility of Jose Mourinho taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford in the next 18 months. Can you imagine the prospects of both Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho managing in Manchester at the same time?