Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Liverpool shellshocked as Man City select Reds hero to replace Guardiola; first two giant signings lined up

Man City manager Pep Guardiola

Manchester City are ‘poised to make a move’ for their successor to Pep Guardiola in a development that will go down like a lead balloon over at Liverpool, according to a report.

Guardiola guided Man City to their fourth successive Premier League title last term and their sixth crown in seven years. Questions remain over the club’s 115 Financial Fair Play charges, though what cannot be debated is Guardiola is among the greatest managers in English football history.

However, the 53-year-old has dropped numerous hints over recent times that his future could lay away from the Etihad.

Guardiola’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the 2024/25 season and the Spaniard has raised eyebrows with his exit suggestions.

“Last year, after Istanbul (Champions League final), I said ‘it’s over, there’s nothing left’,” Guardiola said last month.

“But I have a contract and I start to think ‘no-one has done four [Premier League titles] in a row, why don’t we try?’. And now I feel it’s done, so what next?

“Now I don’t know what exactly the motivation is because it’s difficult to find it when everything is done.”

Guardiola subsequently poured more fuel on the fire when speaking to reporters after City’s latest Premier League triumph.

“The reality is I am closer to leaving than staying [after next season],” admitted the City boss.

Man City line up Liverpool hero to replace Guardiola

If Guardiola does decide to walk away in 2025, he’ll bring his trophy-laden stint at the Etihad to a close at the nine-year mark. That is the same length of time his great rival Jurgen Klopp lasted at Liverpool before choosing to take a break from the game.

The Reds ultimately landed on Dutchman Arne Slot to take the reins at Anfield, though initially explored the appointment of Xabi Alonso.

Alonso has earned rave reviews for his spectacular spell at Bayer Leverkusen who he guided to their first ever Bundesliga title last season.

Liverpool put in a call, though Alonso elected to remain loyal to Leverkusen for one more season at least.

But according to online outlet Football Transfers, Alonso has been lined up as Guardiola’s replacement for the 2025/26 season and beyond.

Man City hierarchy 100 percent convinced by Xabi Alonso

They state Man City’s hierarchy are unanimously agreed that Alonso is the perfect candidate to succeed Guardiola and continue his legacy at the club.

Accordingly, Man City are ‘poised to make a move’ for Alonso with a view to the Spaniard replacing Guardiola in 12 months’ time.

That news will certainly ring alarm bells at Liverpool who would be loathe to see a Reds-connected figure join Man City.

Alonso starred for Liverpool between 2004-09 during his playing days and helped lift the Champions League on that memorable night in Istanbul back in 2005.

Alonso has already proven he’s a manager at the cutting edge of the game despite his relative inexperience and Man City are seemingly convinced he’s the perfect candidate to succeed Guardiola.

READ MORE: The 10 biggest spending football managers since Pep Guardiola joined Man City in 2016

Alonso can help Man City with two transfers

Furthermore, the report adds Man City believe appointing Alonso would help the club to pull off two huge transfers one year from now.

Man City are casting their eye over Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz and Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad.

Wirtz is viewed as the heir apparent to Kevin De Bruyne as the creator-in-chief, while Zubimendi – who’s previously admitted Alonso is his footballing idol – would take the pressure off Rodri in midfield.

Real Madrid are known to be hovering over Wirtz and the presence of Alonso could be just what City require to swing a deal their way instead of to the Bernabeu.

Wirtz is expected to cost in excess of £100m if changing clubs in 2025. Zubimendi, meanwhile, can be signed via a €60m release clause.

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