Pep Guardiola’s time at Manchester City has been full of success since his arrival in 2016. The last seven seasons have seen Guardiola turn Manchester City into an unstoppable force in England and now on the European stage.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has brought 14 major honours to the blue side of Manchester; 1 Champions League, 5 Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, and 2 Community Shields.
Last season Guardiola was able to achieve the treble and end Manchester City’s Champions League drought. Without a doubt, the legacy built by the Spanish manager will live on forever at City.
But all good things must come to an end. So, with Guardiola’s contract expiring at the end of the 2024/2025 season, who are the possible candidates to try and continue the successes of the Catalan at Manchester City?
Whoever his eventual replacement is, it will be a difficult transition for the club. Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano, CFG Chief Football Operations Officer Omar Berrada and City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain all worked previously at Barcelona and are seemingly part of the Guardiola inner circle. The post-Pep era could be a period of huge upheaval at the Eithad.
Who could the candidates be to replace Guardiola?
Since leaving City back in 2019, after winning a domestic quadruple, the Belgian has successfully transitioned into management. He started steadily with Anderlecht, but his reputation in management reached new heights last season after taking over relegated Burnley. He completed the season with a staggering 101 points and the Championship title. Another huge factor in the possibility of Kompany’s return to the Blues is that he worked under Guardiola for three seasons.
However, Kompany has only been a manager for 3 years, and by 2025 if Burnley are successful in the Premier League, he would have only managed for two seasons in the top flight. The Belgian would be a highly popular choice with the fans but could lack the experience needed for the job.
Like Guardiola, Luis Enrique led Barcelona to treble success. Enrique, with the firepower of Neymar, Luis Suarez, and Lionel Messi, was able to guide Barcelona to the treble back in the 2014/2015 season. Since then, the 53-year-old has been in charge of the Spanish National Team on two separate occasions, guiding them to a Euros Semi-Final and a Nations League Final defeat in 2021.
Then came a somewhat disappointing World Cup in Qatar which saw Spain defeated in the Round of 16 by surprise package Morocco. Despite his success as a club manager, the former Real Madrid and Barcelona player has never managed in the Premier League. By 2025 when the Manchester City managerial position might become available, Enrique might have already found a new job. As he is currently jobless, would he wait two years for the City job to be his?
One of the many coaches and managers that Guardiola has helped produce in recent times, the current Arsenal boss spent three years as Pep’s right-hand man and was a part of the management team in Guardiola’s first couple of years at City. Since leaving for the Arsenal job in December 2019, Arteta his built up some serious Premier League credibility, even running City closer to the title last season.
As things stand he’s a candidate that makes perfect sense. The former Arsenal and Everton midfielder knows and understands what is needed to be successful at Manchester City. He also holds a similar philosophy to the current City boss. However, Arteta has now started to come into his own with the Gunners. His project is starting to come together and to leave it in two years’ time might not be something he would be willing to do. Arteta might want to remain at Arsenal and cement his legacy at the North London club.
No matter who replaces Guardiola, it will be an immense challenge. Other names might be more attractive to Manchester City by 2025, such as Roberto De Zerbi, Zinedine Zidane or Julian Nagelsmann.
Despite City facing the ongoing case of the Premier League’s alleged 115 breaches Guardiola insists he will stay, ‘Sometimes I have doubts, seven years already is a long time. Now I don’t want to go.’
But one day the City hot seat will be left for someone else to fill. Who will have the confidence to follow one of the greatest managers of all time?
Written and distributed by Chat T Sports.