It may have been one of the worst kept secrets in football but when news broke that Pep Guardiola would be making the Etihad his home next season it still felt like something of a body blow for many United fans. It’s not that so much that City have a double Champions League winning manager who plays football the way God intended, it’s that currently United fans are being tortured rather than tantalised with what we’re witnessing on the pitch under Louis Van Gaal. Guardiola has already got City fans crowing like they’re destined to win the Champions League and part of that comes from the fact the club have obviously been chasing him for so long and finally got their man, It was telling in City’s statement regarding the acquisition of Guardiola it stated:
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 2016/17 EPL season onwards.
The contract is for three years. These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012.
In 2012 City tried to get Guardiola, failed but rather than simply give up they kept a dialogue open with the former Barcelona manager with a view to one day getting his signature when he was up for the challenge of the Premier League. It was around 2012 that Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire and by his own admission asked Guardiola about taking over from him at Old Trafford but found out he was Bayern bound. That’s it. End of discussion, David Moyes, Ryan Giggs and Louis Van Gaal came in without any thought of seeing if Guardiola could be obtainable in the future. In many ways it was the appointment of Moyes on a six year deal that fuzzed the thinking around the need to covet Guardiola. While City appointed Pellegrini as the short-term answer on a three year deal, United went all in on Moyes for double that and ended up going bust.
If you want the best you have to truly try and get them, no matter how long it takes and it appears City not United were willing to play the long game. Time will tell if it pays off.