Football: Pep Guardiola to get a $308 million war chest

Pep Guardiola is expected to liaise closely with City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, who is a close friend. But Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says Guardiola will need to adapt to the EPL.
Pep Guardiola is expected to liaise closely with City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, who is a close friend. But Stoke City manager Mark Hughes says Guardiola will need to adapt to the EPL.PHOTO: REUTERS

City pave way for incoming boss to be given substantial purchasing power in close season

LONDON • Pep Guardiola will have at least £150 million (S$308.6 million) to spend on players when he replaces Manuel Pellegrini as the Manchester City manager in the summer.

The Spaniard's salary will also rise to £15.2 million after it was confirmed that he will move to the Etihad following the expiry of his contract with Bayern Munich.

City's standing as the richest football club in the world, along with next season's record Premier League broadcast deal of £5.14 billion, means he will be given the backing to enter the market as he wishes in the close season.

 

The club's finances will be further swelled by the new overseas broadcast deal, expected to be a minimum of €3 billion (S$4.7 billion).

Guardiola is a close friend of City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, and is expected to consult him regarding transfers before taking over on July 1.

WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT GUARDIOLA

Even when the team are not winning and he receives criticism, he sticks to his guns. He's a coach who doesn't let what's going on around him get to him, and he's got a lot of self-belief.

GERARD PIQUE, Barcelona centre-back, as the Spanish club headed for Champions League glory in 2011.

Guardiola earns €17 million at Bayern Munich but this is to increase by €3 million in recognition of his standing as one of the world's most sought-after managers.

City believed they were close to landing the 45-year-old in 2012 before he decided to take a sabbatical and this strengthened Guardiola's bargaining position.

Pep is a great coach, but my grandfather would win the title with Barcelona and Bayern because they are big clubs, with great players. I'd like to see Pep take a club who are eighth or ninth and make them champions.

City are confident that now Pellegrini's departure in the summer is official, it will galvanise the squad into playing for the popular manager rather than making him a lame duck.

Pellegrini has been aware of City's preference for Guardiola since he replaced Roberto Mancini in June 2013 and would have been less accepting of the club's move if it had been any other manager.

DIMITRY SELUK, Yaya Toure's agent.

He finds it uncannily easy to understand immediately any situation in a game, in attack or defence.

FRANCK RIBERY, on playing for Guardiola at Bayern.

He was informed of the decision last week by Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the City chairman, and it is understood the relationship between the two remains amicable.

The club have no problem with Pellegrini now talking with prospective clubs about where he may manage next.

The view is that Chelsea could be interested and given the 62-year-old Chilean won the Premier League in his first season with City and wants to remain in English football, Stamford Bridge would be of interest.

Guardiola was confirmed as Pellegrini's successor on Monday when the usually introverted Chilean decided to offer the news in an unsolicited soundbite at the close of his press conference before yesterday's away trip to Sunderland.

It suggested he may have driven the decision to make Guardiola's appointment official.

The club then released a statement confirming Guardiola's appointment and emphasising that Pellegrini is fully supportive of the decision and entirely focused on achieving his targets for the season.

Mark Hughes, the Stoke City manager who has also been in charge at City, warned Guardiola the Premier League may be different to La Liga and the Bundesliga.

"I don't think the news itself is a surprise, maybe the timing of the announcement. It is very interesting," he said.

"The Premier League is unlike any other league in world football. He has been very successful, of course, but he will still need a bit of adaptation."

City believe they beat United and Chelsea to Guardiola's signature, with sources claiming "overtures" were made to the Spaniard.

This, though, was denied at United and it is understood that as recently as December, the executive at Old Trafford viewed Guardiola's favoured destination to be City.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'PEP TO GET A $308M WAR CHEST'. Print Edition | Subscribe