It must be the time of year for high profile sports books. Last week we had Roy Keane's offering, which came at the same time as Kevin Pietersen's offering sent English cricket into a tailspin (I appreciate the latter reference may slip by one or two of you).
This week there are a number of quotes being aired from the new book on Pep Guardiola, penned by Marti Perarnau, covering his debut season in charge at Bayern, and amongst these is the news that Guardiola was approached by City (specifically Txiki Begiristain) to take charge at City.
The move came during Guardiola's season-long sabbatical, prior to him announcing in early 2013 that he would take charge at the Bundesliga side. The direct quote from the book states:
"During his sabbatical year in New York, the job offers poured in. His ex-colleague, Txiki Begiristain, the director of football at Manchester City, was very insistent. He also met up in Paris with Roman Abramovich, who was prepared to do anything to lure Pep to Chelsea ... Within a few months Pep, had chosen Bayern."
it is far from a secret that Guardiola had been linked to City, effectively to replace Roberto Mancini and prior to the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini, given his links with Begiristain and Ferran Soriano. The fact that he didn't take the job is equally not a surprise, although much of the smart money had him arriving at either Chelsea or Manchester United.
What is intriguing is what the future possibilities could be. Guardiola, we believe, has a three-year deal at Bayern and historically managers there do not typically have a long tenure, nor has Guardiola indicated he has a desire to stay at a club for the long term. In addition, the length of Manuel Pellegrini's contract? The same three years Guardiola has signed.
Slightly mischevious on my part of course as it is not uncommon for non-British managers to work to shorter contracts; no eight-year Alan Pardew deal here. But it does raise a legitimate question as to what succession planning City have in place?
Will Pellegrini be extended beyond 2016, and if so how long and what will this depend upon? Could Guardiola be a legitimate option at this point? Would City be a legitimate option too at this juncture for Pellegrini, three more years into the 'project'?
There is also the name of Patrick Vieira to throw into the mix. Having cut his teeth in a more administrative role, Vieira donned the tracksuit to take charge of the EDS set up, taking his coaching badges in the process. Given the path Guardiola took at Barcelona, and with the long term a consideration for Begiristain/Sorian his name will surely be one to consider at some point.
Perhaps 2016 would be too soon for Vieira but could he be given a role in the senior set up at that point, perhaps even working with a certain new man in charge?