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Transfer Rater: Batshuayi to Newcastle


Manchester City beat United and Chelsea to Pep Guardiola - sources

Manchester City believe they beat Manchester United and Chelsea to secure Pep Guardiola as their new manager, sources have told ESPN FC.

Bayern Munich boss Guardiola will succeed Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad next season after agreeing a three-year contract with the club.

Guardiola announced in December that he will leave the Bundesliga champions in the summer with the intent to coach in the Premier League. City, Manchester United and Chelsea were all linked with the former Barcelona boss.

Chelsea were looking for a new manager after Jose Mourinho left the club in December with Guus Hiddink put in temporary charge, while Louis van Gaal is under intense pressure to keep his job at United as they struggle to secure their place in the Champions League with many fans wanting Guardiola as his replacement.

Sources have told EPSN FC that both clubs showed interest in trying to land the 45-year-old but he instead opted for the Etihad.

Guardiola is close friends with City's director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano. The three worked together at the Camp Nou where he won three La Liga titles and two Champion Leagues.

Pellegrini revealed at the end of Monday's news conference that will leave in the summer and the club immediately confirmed that the Spaniard will take over.

City said in a statement: "Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalized contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC Head Coach for the 16/17 EPL season onwards. 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 Pellegrini, who is fully supportive of the decision to make the 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."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.


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