It hasn’t been an easy first season for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. After a flying start that saw City clock up ten straight wins, the team’s form has been inconsistent and the priority is now more Champions League football than Premier League title. Occasionally, though, examples being the wins over Barcelona and Arsenal, there are signs of a very high level that City could reach under the Catalan coach.
And according to an exclusive article in The Sun co-authored by Martin Blackburn (a trusted source for City news) and Phil Thomas, Guardiola is thinking long-term. At least half a decade, in fact!
The Sun reports that Guardiola has now realised that the rebuilding job at City is much bigger than he realised, but is determined to see it through. And ‘sources’ close to the City boss say he is looking to stay for at least FIVE YEARS, which would make it his longest managerial stint to date.
Crucially, both Guardiola and his family are settling well into Mancunian life, with Pep’s friends saying he loves the ‘vibe’ of the city. He opted to live in a city centre apartment rather than a Cheshire retreat, and is reportedly bringing over architects and planners over from Barcelona to “customise” his new home.
There is no risk of the 46-year-old being sacked and he has the full support of Sheikh Mansour and club chiefs, despite patchy form in his debut season in England.
Next summer promises to be one of the biggest in years at Manchester City. Seven players are out of contract, including club legends Yaya Touré and Pablo Zabaleta, while big names currently out on loan, such as Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri, are expected to be sold.
With big earners out of contract and others offloaded, it will allow Guardiola to truly build a squad in his vision, one that can respond to his demands and methods.