Belfast Telegraph

Pep Guardiola to Manchester City confirmed as Bayern boss snubs Chelsea and United to replace Manuel Pelligrini

By Claire Cromie

Pep Guardiola will take over as Manchester City head coach for the start of next season, it has been confirmed.

Manuel Pellegrini ended speculation about his departure by announcing at the end of his weekly press conference he would step down on June 30.

The club quickly released a statement saying Guardiola would take over, on a three-year contract.

"Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalised contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC head coach for the 2016/17 EPL season onwards," it said.

"The contract is for three years. These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012.

"Out of respect for Manuel Pellegrini and the players, the club wishes to make its decision public to remove the unnecessary burden of speculation.

"Manuel, who is fully supportive of the decision to make this communication, is entirely focused on achieving his targets for the season ahead and retains the respect and commitment of all involved with the leadership of the club."

The Chilean told the press conference to preview Tuesday's Sunderland match: "I finish my contract in June.

"A lot of speculation but I knew this a month ago.

"But I don't think it is good to have more speculation.

"I prefer to finish today. I have told the players I was going."

Pellegrini, 62, had a hugely successful debut in English football when he lead Man City to win the Premier League and League Cup in 2013-14.

But after he ended last season trophy-less - and Guardiola announced he was leaving Bayern Munich - speculation began about the Spaniard replacing him.

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