Martin Samuel is one of the more popular big-name journalists among the City fan base. As too many in the press ignored the faulty logic and reasoning behind Financial Fair Play, Samuel went on a one-man crusade against it with some excellent pieces, including an interview with Michel Platini where the then-UEFA boss struggled to give clear answers to hard questions.
Today’s comments by Samuel about Pep Guardiola were part of a long Q&A in the Daily Mail and easy to miss. Here are selected comments by Martin about Guardiola joining the Blues:
“So on Monday I wrote that Pep Guardiola was coming to Manchester City – it’s when, not if, I’m told – in a column that advanced my belief he will very quickly correct the weaknesses we see in the team now.”
“If Guardiola does not go to Manchester City, I will be very surprised because my understanding from sources I would trust is that the deal is done.”
“As for writing about Guardiola as the next Manchester City manager with such certainty, well that’s a little different. We all get information from people we know in football, and I have been told – and so have colleagues, from other sources – that City is his next destination. Will Manchester City, or Guardiola, confirm it? Of course not, midway through the season, and I wouldn’t expect them to. Sometimes we have to accept that a club wishes its business to remain private. I can’t provide dates or salaries or terms and conditions, but I feel as confident as a journalist can ever be that Guardiola will manage City. Would I put the mortgage on it, again no – because he is 1/5 with most bookmakers and there is no value in that bet. So they think it is happening, too. And they’re the only ones who stand to lose money if they are wrong. So I’d go with them, as well.”
Samuel is one of many well respected journalists who will have egg on their face if Pep doesn’t rock up at the Etihad. There is confidence all over the place now that Guardiola will lead the Club into its next cycle. Of course, nothing is certain until the contract is signed, but it would be surprising now if Pep isn’t reunited with his old pals Ferran and Txiki in east Manchester…