Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Guardiola.'S FREEDOM TO REBUILD CITY ; CITY SPECIAL WELCOME GUARDIOLABoard Are Prepared to Hand New Boss Huge Summer Budget to Revamp Squad - Leaving Some Playing for Their Futures

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Guardiola.'S FREEDOM TO REBUILD CITY ; CITY SPECIAL WELCOME GUARDIOLABoard Are Prepared to Hand New Boss Huge Summer Budget to Revamp Squad - Leaving Some Playing for Their Futures

Article excerpt

CITY will hand Pep Guardiola a huge transfer budget to reinforce the Etihad squad this summer.

And the Blues are also confident the announcement that Manuel Pellegrini will leave in June will not derail their season as they chase four trophies.

City's squad head to Sunderland tonight chasing top spot, just 24 hours on from being told by Pellegrini that he would be leaving at the end of the season and that Guardiola will be coming in.

That was no great shock, as it has been known for six weeks now, but for it to become official and out in the open could have an effect on the players.

But City are adamant that they will not suffer a drop in form in the way United did when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his 'retirement' in 2001.

The difference, they believe, is that United had nobody lined up as a replacement, which led to a malaise in the squad.

The idea behind announcing Guardiola's succession now is that rather than have a negative effect on City's season, it will do the opposite and galvanise them.

Pellegrini is a popular manager, and the players will want to give him the perfect send-off by winning a trophy or two - or even four.

And with Guardiola now confirmed, those players will also know that they are playing for their places next season.

Especially as it is clear that the new man will have money to spend.

No precise amount will be set aside, but football director Txiki Begiristain is bound to have conversations with the incoming boss in the next few months to determine their precise targets.

City are expected to head to the Far East on tour this summer, with China an obvious destination following the sale of 13 per cent of the City Football Group to an investment company from that country earlier this season.

They want to make big inroads into the Chinese market and, as well as the boost of Guardiola, would love to splash out on a bigname player to really announce themselves.

They have the money. As well as their figures showing they have made a small profit for the last financial year, that sale of a portion of the group has reeled in Pounds 265m.

And when you add in the bumper new Premier League TV deal, there will be plenty of cash stacked in Pep's war-chest. …

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