Man City could miss out on Pep Guardiola's own 'preferred replacement' with exit on the cards

Man City could miss out on Pep Guardiola's own 'preferred replacement' with exit on the cards

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Pep Guardiola could leave Man City

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 27/05/2024

- 10:58

The 52-year-old is widely expected to leave the Etihad Stadium next year

Pep Guardiola's time at Manchester City seems to be drawing to a close.

Just 24 hours after his side were beaten by Manchester United in the final of the FA Cup, it emerged the Spaniard was poised to leave the Etihad Stadium at the end of next season.

Guardiola, when he arrived at City eight years ago, thought he'd only be at the club for three to four years.

But his stint in Manchester has been the longest of his managerial career, far lengthier than his spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the past.

Pep Guardiola Man City

Pep Guardiola is widely expected to leave Man City at the end of next season


Guardiola's work at City is nothing short of extraordinary.

Yes, he has the world's best players, has worked on a practically unlimited budget and has had the luxury of being able to regenerate his squad whenever he feels like it.

But take nothing away from the 52-year-old and his City side. The way they have dominated English football is unlike anything ever seen before on these shores.

With Guardiola poised to leave next year, it'll be intriguing to see who replaces him.

Girona's Michel could feasibly arrive, with the LaLiga side owned by the same group that own City.

Xabi Alonso has admirers at the Etihad for his fine work at Bayer Leverkusen, with the German side losing just one match this season.

And Julian Nagelsmann has been touted as a potential candidate to take over as well.

Reports say, however, that Roberto De Zerbi would be Guardiola's own preferred option to replace him.

The 44-year-old is currently on the market, with Brighton announcing they'd be separating from the Italian earlier this month.

De Zerbi arrived at the Amex Stadium in September 2022, shortly after the departure of Graham Potter to Chelsea.

And he immediately improved the Seagulls, who finished sixth in the Premier League table.

De Zerbi has won plaudits for his style of play, with Brighton one of the most entertaining teams in the top flight.

Though they endured an inconsistent season this time around, De Zerbi still departs with his head held high.

Guardiola is a huge fan of the former Porto boss, previously insisting he's got what it takes to manage at the highest level.

City could, however, miss out.


Roberto De Zerbi

Pep Guardiola would like Roberto De Zerbi to replace him at Man City


Chelsea are interested in appointing De Zerbi as a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino, who left Stamford Bridge last week.

The Blues need somebody for now, instead of in a year.

And while De Zerbi may be tempted by City, Chelsea would give him a long-term project.

If he went to City, he'd be expected to carry on what Guardiola has started. Even the best managers in the world would likely feel uneasy with such a huge challenge.

At Chelsea, however, De Zerbi would inherit a squad with immense potential. The prospect of a long-term project could appeal, too.

Man City Pep Guardiola

Man City have dominated English football under Pep Guardiola and his departure next year will leave a huge void


Chelsea have narrowed down their shortlist of potential Pochettino replacements, with Thomas Frank and Enzo Maresca in the running as well.

Yet there's a sense that De Zerbi will be given the keys to Stamford Bridge, especially given how the Blues have poached many Brighton staff members over the past few years.

Their potential gain could be City's loss.

And what ultimately happens with Guardiola and his departure from the club remains to be seen.

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