Manchester City have reportedly found Pep Guardiola’s potential replacement, despite the Spaniard insisting he has no intention of leaving just yet.
Guardiola's long-term future at the Etihad has been the subject of much speculation in recent months, with suggestions he could leave at the end of the season, his fourth managing the Citizens.
Guardiola has never surpassed the fourth season with any club, which has sparked a lot of rumors about his future. Moreover, Guardiola's assistant for the past three years, Mikel Arteta, has agreed to a deal to become Arsenal manager following Unai Emery's sacking, making things more complicated for the Sky Blues.
That said, the Mirror report Mauricio Pochettino has been identified as a potential successor to Pep.
The Spaniard has insisted he has no intention to leave the club, previously stating:
"I'm so comfortable working with this club. When you are [somewhere for] five years it depends on the results. We will see what happens this season and next season."
Yet, there are fears that Arteta's departure could have bigger repercussions for City. They are reportedly preparing for life after Guardiola as part of a contingency plan, with former Tottenham boss Pochettino on the list.
This isn’t uncommon in football and doesn’t necessarily mean City’s board fear Guardiola will leave. They’re just preparing in case he does.
Barcelona’s president has shown his willingness to welcome Pep once again, reacting to the reports suggesting this could be the Spaniard's final year at the Etihad.
"It doesn't depend on me. It was Pep who decided to leave, but the door will always be open for him at Barca,” he told La Repubblica.
There you go, perhaps Pep isn’t living his last days as City’s helmsman, but the team is ready to replace him when that time arrives.