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Manchester City have confirmed the appointment of Pep Guardiola on a three-year deal from the start of the 2016-17 season as a replacement for outgoing coach Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean joined the Etihad Stadium outfit in 2013, winning the Premier League and the League Cup in his first season, but will leave with 12 months remaining on his contract with City still fighting on four fronts this season.
Guardiola will arrive in the Premier League in the summer with the reputation as one of Europe's best managers. A three-time La Liga winner and twice a European champion with Barcelona, the Spaniard's success has continued with Bayern Munich, where he has won Bundesliga titles in each of his two full seasons in charge.
The 44-year-old – who has made no secret of his desire to manage in England – confirmed he would be leaving Bayern at the end of the current season in December, to be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti. This led to speculation he could move to City. Pellegrini has put an end to media speculation by confirming his departure, an announcement that has been accompanied by confirmation of Guardiola's imminent arrival.
"I finish here on the 30 June," Pellegrini told a press conference ahead of the Premier League game against Sunderland, according to BBC Sport. "There's been lots of speculation. The club are not doing nothing behind me. I told them one month ago. I don't think it is good, the speculation about different things. I'd prefer to finish today, I have told the players and I told the club two weeks ago."
A City statement later read: "Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalised contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become Manchester City head coach for the 2016/2017 season onwards. The contract is for three years. These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012.
"Out of respect for Manuel Pellegrini and the players the club wishes to make its decision public to remove the unnecessary burden of speculation. Manuel Pellegrini, who is fully supportive of the decision to make this communication, is entirely focused on achieving his targets for the season and retaining the respect and commitment of all involved with the leadership of the club."