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The main candidates to succeed Guardiola on the Manchester City bench in 2025?

According to a Daily Mail exclusive, the Catalan coach will stand down from his role as City boss at the end of the 2024/25 season.

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola poses with the Premier League trophy

1 February 2016 was a historic day in the recent history of Manchester City FC as it was the day Spanish coach Pep Guardiola put pen to paper as head coach ensuing the most successful period in the club’s history.

Six Premier League titles, two FA Cup triumphs are the major honours in that time under the coach from Santpedor who finally achieved the one title badly sought after trophy so desired by the ‘blue half’ of Manchester as his City side beat Inter 1-0 in 2023 to lift the Champions League.

After more than eight years in Manchester, according to a Daily Mail exclusive, Guardiola has decided to depart the Sky Blues when the 2024-25 season concludes next year despite the club set to do all they can to keep the Catalan coach at the Etihad stadium.

In a recent Sky Sports interview, Guardiola himself did allude to a City exit as he confessed: “The reality is that I am closer to leaving than staying. I already spoke with the club and told them that for now I want to stay. I will be here next season, then we will talk, but I have been here for eight or nine years… We will see.” The still Manchester City coach, aware of his contractual situation, left the door ajar.

Pep Guardiola, entrenador del Manchester City, da instrucciones durane la final de la FA Cup 2023-2024 ante el Manchester United.
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Pep succession

Although 12 months is an eternity in modern football, if Guardiola does decide to depart, City will be quick to work on a succession plan and look for the ideal candidate to occupy the bench at one of the most successful Premier League sides in recent times.

Girona boss Michel seems to be an early front-runner with the former Huesca and Rayo Vallecano coach doing wonders this season and securing a first ever Champions League place for the Catalan side who are conveniently part of the every growing City Football Group empire.

Girona's Spanish coach Michel
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Girona's Spanish coach Michel PAU BARRENAAFP

Roberto de Zerbi has done a remarkable job with Brighton taking the Seagulls into Europe and despite a dip in his final months in the position, the Italian is highly regarded by Guardiola who will potentially have a string say in selecting his successor. Since the recent Chelsea exit of Mauricio Pochettino, the 44-year-old Brescia born De Zerbi is also being linked with the Stamford Bridge role.

Brighton's former Italian head coach Roberto De Zerbi
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Brighton's former Italian head coach Roberto De Zerbi GLYN KIRKAFP

Other high profile names being linked with a move to City at this very, very early stage include Zinedine Zidane, Xabi Alonso and Eddie Howe.

The 2024-25 season has yet to start and it’s already started to become intriguing.