Belfast Telegraph

Khaldoon Al Mubarak pledges to back Pep Guardiola's Manchester City vision

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has stressed Pep Guardiola will be provided with the resources this summer to get the club pushing for the biggest prizes - and also tipped the Spaniard to bring players through the youth set-up.

Under the management of Manuel Pellegrini last term, City won the League Cup as well as reaching the Champions League semi-final, but they finished fourth in the Premier League and Khaldoon has spoken of his disappointment at the season overall.

Guardiola, who officially starts work as Pellegrini's successor next month on a three-year contract, is expected to oversee a major overhaul of the playing staff in preparation for 2016-17, with m idfielder Ilkay Gundogan already signed from Borussia Dortmund.

And Khaldoon told City TV: "He (Guardiola) has a particular way he wants to manage the squad and play, and I think we'll need particular players who will join.

"There will also be some players where the time is right for them to move on. So I think we will have some changes this summer.

"We will invest as we have always done in this club, in this team.

"We will provide the necessary resources for Pep to build a team that has the ambition and the capability to go and win back this Premier League, to go as far as we can and try to win the Champions League, and keep pushing in the cups."

While giving that signal that there is set to be a considerable outlay on new players, Khaldoon also emphasised a key factor in Guardiola being recruited was his approach to youth development at his previous clubs Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

"That is one of the reasons why Pep was so highly considered by us," Khaldoon said when asked about Guardiola bridging the gap between the academy and the first team.

"That is really that ethos that we have at Manchester City, and that I think Pep believes to the bone.

"He has done it at Barcelona and at Bayern Munich, even with abundance of talent he had in both first teams.

"Pep always has a knack for talent and he loves to find young players who have incredible talent. He finds that talent, nurtures it and you see them evolve and succeed in both the first teams he has had.

"Today, at our club, we have that - I think we have incredible talent today. This is the first time in years since we started this experience that truly, and at every level almost within the club, we have incredible talent.

"We are competitive with a lot of talent across all age levels. I think Pep will enjoy that and find a lot of gems that we are going to produce out of that."

He added: "We would like to have the maximum amount of players in the first team coming out of our academy, but we also have to recognise the Premier League is evolving very quickly.

"The level of competition and quality in the Premier League is remarkable - there is no easy game, home or away.

"I think winning the Premier League is getting more and more difficult, and will get tremendously more difficult next year."


From Belfast Telegraph