Manchester City bosses are reported to have whittled down their shortlist of names to become Pep Guardiola successor to just two names – both of whom are currently employed by Premier League rivals.
The Spaniard, 50, is already one of the greatest managers of all time. Guardiola is revered for the type of football he implements, though there is always a great deal of substance to back up the style.
Indeed, Guardiola has overseen nine league title successes between his spells at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. What makes that figure all the more impressive is the fact Guardiola has only managed 13 full seasons.
Since arriving at City in 2016, Guardiola has helped his side lift 10 major honours. However, according to a recent report, his time in Manchester will come to an end in 2023 when his current contract expires.
City, of course, look well on track to win a second successive Premier League title under Guardiola. Indeed, standing 10 points clear of second-place Chelsea, City can win a fourth title in six seasons.
As such, replacing him at the helm will be a near-impossible feat, with City knowing his successor will have his work cut out.
Nonetheless, as per The Athletic, City chiefs now have two candidates they are considering as his replacement.
The first is Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who worked as Guardiola’s No 2 for three years before leaving for Arsenal.
After riding an early storm this season, the Gunners have roared back and now look serious top-four contenders. Indeed, Arsenal’s performance in losing 2-1 to City at the weekend is reported to have caught their eye. Many observers – including our Player Ratings – felt Arsenal were the superior side. Very few sides, in fact, have made City look that ordinary down the years.
Arteta, Vieira the candidates to become Guardiola successor
Fortunately for City, Arteta’s deal at Emirates Stadium expires on June 30, 2023 – the exact same date as Guardiola’s.
The second candidate City are considering is another man with City links in Patrick Vieira.
The Crystal Palace manager finished his playing days while at the Etihad and cut his teeth in coaching at their sister club New York City FC.
Indeed, his tactics at Palace are similar to those employed by City. Indeed, the Frenchman, despite only arriving in the summer, has revolutionised the Eagles’ style.
Man City want Ten Hag as Guardiola replacement
Man City have made Erik ten Hag a target to replace Pep Guardiola in 2023.
Whether he ultimately ends up leaving for City at the end of next season remains to be seen, however.
City have previously been linked with Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag as a potential replacement.
In the meantime, City’s owners will hope Guardiola can deliver on the one trophy he’s yet to get his hands on – the Champions League.
Having lost in the final last season, City have two more chances under his management to lift the trophy. They next face Sporting Lisbon in the round of 16.
Guardiola open to Barcelona swap deal
Guardiola, meanwhile, is reportedly open to a second City transfer deal with Barcelona if he can get Frenkie de Jong to head in the other direction.
The Spanish manager parted ways with forward Ferran Torres after he declared his desire to leave the club. The Catalan giants announced his signing last week.
Regardless, there is further interest from Barca directed towards the Etihad Stadium. It recently emerged they want Aymeric Laporte.
And as per a fresh report by El Nacional, City would be prepared to negotiate his departure in a swap deal.
In return Guardiola reportedly fancies De Jong -a player he has great admiration for.
The Dutch midfielder fits his mould. Although he’s a different player, his arrival would help ease the possible impending exit of Fernandinho.
His La Liga owners are reportedly willing to let him go earlier this season. They have a number of young midfield talents and his exit would ease their wage bill.