Pep Guardiola will take Manchester City to a “whole new level,” according to the club’s chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
The former Bayern Munich manager will start his three-year reign at The Etihad on July 1 and Khaldoon believes the club are getting possibly the best manager in the world.
Owner Sheikh Mansour has pumped hundreds of millions of pounds into the club he bought in 2008 and in that time City have won two Premier League titles and three domestic trophies.
The hope is that Guardiola can now bring the sort of dominance he enjoyed at Bayern — and previous club Barcelona — to the Etihad. He won six league titles in his seven years with the two clubs as well as four domestic cups and two Champions League titles during his time at the Nou Camp.
“I am absolutely excited about Pep joining our team, I consider Pep to be one of the best if not the best manager today in football,” said Al Mubarak.
“We are getting a manager that epitomises, in my view, passion and commitment. He’s a winner — a proven winner. He’s won professionally in every team he’s coached.
“His record at Bayern Munich and his record at Barcelona speak for itself. The trophies he’s won — he’s won every single club competition from the Champions League to La Liga to the Bundesliga to the respective cups in both leagues he’s played.
“We are getting a proven winner, we’re getting a passionate man. We’re getting someone I think will be an incredible asset to Manchester City and I have no doubt that he will transform our team to a whole new level.”
Guardiola faces a major rebuilding job at City after they scraped into fourth place to secure the final Champions League place by finishing above rivals Manchester United on goal difference.
The squad revamp has already begun with the capture of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan for a reported £21 million.
Al Mubarak praised the efforts of Guardiola’s predecessor Manuel Pellegrini, who left the club after winning the Capital One Cup this season — his third trophy in three years. But the chairman admitted that last season was a huge disappointment with the Chilean’s side failing to maintain a significant title challenge and only securing Champions League football on the final day of the season.
“There are a lot of achievements that have been made in those three years that I think we all have to recognise, by Manuel and the team around him. We should be thankful for those achievements,” said Al Mubarak.
“At the same time I think we also can’t hide the disappointment particularly this year. We all had high expectations for this season and I think at the end of the day I cannot hide the disappointment of myself, obviously Sheikh Mansour, I know the fans of the club, and I’m sure the entire team.”
City finished 15 points behind eventual champions Leicester City, whose Premier League title success was one of the biggest shocks in football history. Khaldoon praised the Foxes and boss Claudio Ranieri for their stunning triumph and says City can learn from their committed performances.
“As a football fan it’s an incredible achievement,” he added. “It’s something I am delighted for Leicester, for their fans, for everybody involved in that club.
“I take a lot from the passion they’ve shown. This was a team that from the first game of the season to the last game of the season, one thing you know is they gave it their all, every game.
“You have a team that fought hard, put in a lot of passion, a lot of commitment and you can see it in every game they played. Sometimes passion and commitment doesn’t win you trophies but certainly it pushes you to limits.”