Pep Guardiola has ended all speculation surrounding his future after signing a new two-year contract extension at Manchester City.
Guardiola’s contract was due to to expire at the end of the current campaign, with many expecting him to leave after spending five years at the Etihad so far – longer than he’s spent at any other club before.
After the summer was spent pursuing the signature of Lionel Messi following his announcement that he was unhappy at Barcelona, it’s very possible that the idea of reuniting with the Argentine has played a part in his decision to renew.
Guardiola has had success at Man City, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups. He has struggled in Europe though, reaching the semi-finals just once during his time in Manchester.
With Messi almost certain to leave the Camp Nou in the summer, Manchester City are the clear front-runners for his signature.
It’s well known that Messi and Guaridola have great affection for each other, with both constantly admitting that they’re the best that each other have worked with.
As City look set to undergo some sort of transition with their squad, Messi’s arrival could spark the beginning of a new generation despite his age.
His last hurrah could well be leading Manchester City to a European crown, which wouldn’t go particularly well for Guardiola’s legacy. He is yet to win a Champions League trophy without Messi in his team, despite spending over £1bn on players during his managerial career.
Guardiola’s extension runs until 2023, which is likely what any potential contract with Messi would run for also and so it seems that this could be an elaborate plan being laid out well in advance.
Manchester City get the best player of all-time in their squad, hungry and motivated to prove to everyone that he’s still got it. They keep one of the best manager’s in the world around for a couple of extra years and they get to work together again to win another European crown.
With Guardiola’s future secured and all speculation now able to stop, expect a full-on tilt of speculation towards Messi moving to Manchester from now until the summer.