Manchester City have extended Pep Guardiola’s contract for two years, ending speculation that he could leave the club at the end of the season. His contract extension will likely be received as good news by their neighbours at Old Trafford, because it means Mauricio Pochettino will remain available.
Guardiola ended speculation over his future by signing a new two-year contract at the Etihad.
The Spaniard was in the final year of his contract, and had even been tipped to leave this coming summer.
He had been linked with a potential return to Barcelona though was keen to stress that his time at the Nou Camp is over.
And on Thursday, he officially committed his future to City, signing a contract to see him stay at the club until 2023.
Should he see out the remainder of his contract, he will have spent more time at City than at any other club. (he already has no?)
Due to the uncertainty around Guardiola’s future, reports suggested Etihad chiefs were lining up potential replacements in the event of him calling time on his stay next summer.
Pochettino was believed to be at the top of the list, as he is still yet to step into a new job having left Tottenham a year ago.
The Argentine boss was heavily linked with the post, as it had been rumoured that City officials admired his approach to management.
However, they weren’t the only Manchester club to have him on their list of potential future managers, as United have reportedly made contact with his representatives about potentially taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian boss is under considerable pressure at Old Trafford at the moment after a mediocre start to the season, and had been tipped to lose his job if results worsened.
Things looked slightly brighter before the international break, as United beat Everton 3-1 away from home. But the speculation is still lingering over Solskjaer, and Pochettino continues to be linked.
Guardiola further extending his stay at the Etihad means United will face less competition from elsewhere if they do go for Pochettino.
And while that’s not good news for Solskjaer himself, it will be welcome news to United.
Speaking last week, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward declared that Solskjaer is being fully backed by the club’s board.
“On the pitch, while there is still hard work ahead to achieve greater consistency, we remain absolutely committed to the positive path we are on under Ole as the team continues to develop,” he said.
Despite those comments, though, Woodward and co. will be quietly pleased that they stand as the only Premier League club in the frame for Pochettino should Solskjaer fail to find some consistency.
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