Pep Guardiola Agrees Shocking Move To Juventus
That is the extraordinary claim of Italian journalist Federico Gennarelli of Radio Sportiva.
The Catalan coach secured the domestic treble and helped City become the first men’s team in English football history to win the league title and both cup competitions in the same season.
Manchester City wrapped up their trio of trophies with a record-equalling 6-0 thrashing of Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley last Saturday - the joint-biggest margin of victory in any final in the competition’s 147-year history.
That came after beating Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup final back in February before a 98-point league season secured back-to-back titles, becoming the first team in a decade to retain their Premier League crown as they edged rivals Liverpool, who ended on 97 points.
It is thought Guardiola’s ultimate ambition at the Etihad is to win them the Champions League for the first time ever and claim Europe’s biggest piece of silverware himself for the first time since 2011 when he was at Barcelona, with his failure to progress past the semi finals in three seasons at Bayern Munich a major criticism.
After three full seasons at City, he has so far failed to get past the quarter-final stage having lost to Liverpool last season and Tottenham this season, both of whom went on to reach the final in each campaign.
But with Max Allegri having left Juventus last week, reports now claim Guardiola will move to the Serie A giants, who own similar European ambitions, in the coming weeks.
Juve signed five-time Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo last summer but still could not progress past the quarter finals of the competition as they seek a first success on the continent since 1996.
And with Allegri potentially making a move to the Premier League after leading Juve to five titles in five years, Gennarelli claims Guardiola will give up his position at City despite having two years left to run on his contract.
Gennarelli said on Twitter: “It was supposed to be the decisive day. It was: Pep #Guardiola will be the new coach of the #Juventus. 4-year contract. Deal done.”
The claim follows reports from Guardiola’s native Spain that he met with Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici in Milan.
Paratici was pictured outside the Palazzo Parigi hotel in the city where Guardiola is currently staying and Onda Cero’s Mario Gago Huerta claimed to Sportitalia that the pair had a private discussion although that was not the purpose of his visit.
Instead, the reason for Guardiola’s Milan trip is thought to be for a charity event with sponsors.
It was added by Gago Huerta that Guardiola would be unlikely to leave England to take up the job in Turin even despite the allegations of Financial Fair Play breaches by City and suggestions they could be handed a one-year Champions League ban by UEFA.
But reports from Italy say, by contrast, that Guardiola will be take up the role will be officially unveiled as Juve boss on June 14.
The 48-year-old tactician gave an exasperated response when asked about his future with the Citizens just last week, however.
“How many times do I have to say, I’m not going to Juventus?” he said. “I am not going to move to Italy, I’m staying here two more seasons.
“If they want me, I have a contract, I am not going to move and I’m satisfied working here with this club, with these people here and I’m not going anywhere.”
Those comments would seem to kill any suggestion that Guardiola is going anywhere in the near future.
It had previously been mooted that Guardiola could reach a verbal agreement with Juve to go to the Old Lady whenever he leaves City, with it having long been clear that he would take up the managerial role with the Premier League side as they long hunted to bring his talents to England.
Guardiola is under contract with City until the end of the 2020-21 season and if he honours his deal, it will be his longest spell as a manager at one club. He spent four years at Barca and three with Bayern.