After lengthy speculation, Manchester City announced on Thursday that Pep Guardiola had finally agreed a contract extension with the club.
The Spaniard putting pen to paper will now impact the situations of players, managers and football clubs.
So, what does this mean for …
… Manchester City
For Manchester City this can only be good news.
For years now, the club’s hierarchy have spoken consistently about building and leaving a legacy, as well as establishing themselves as a global force under Pep.
He has won every domestic trophy in English football, broken records and will now continue his pursuit of the Champions League – the only piece of silverware that eludes him at the Etihad Stadium.
Their progress has halted slightly following the emergence of Liverpool, plus constant injury issues to key players in Sergio Agüero, Fernandinho and Aymeric Laporte.
But it’s natural that squads must be rebuilt and what plenty forget is how accomplished their base already is. One or two additions and they could be at their frightening best again very quickly.
… Pep Guardiola
The timeline of Guardiola in England has looked like this: slow start when implementing ideas, full steam ahead and winning everything, small dip as rebuild commences. That is entirely normal.
However, this will be the longest he has stayed at one club throughout his managerial career, having left Barcelona and Bayern Munich after four and three years respectively.
These next three years will show us a lot about Pep as a coach and whether or not he have the potential to peak again domestically. Few managers before him have done so.
There are small signs of things beginning to go stale and defensively, things must improve should City want to compete again at the highest level. Can Guardiola rally his troops again? We’ll have to wait and see.
… Lionel Messi
With Guardiola in the Manchester City hot-seat, the pathway for Lionel Messi to join him remains clear.
It’s obvious that Messi is unhappy at Barcelona and despite trying his best to leave this summer, was eventually persuaded to stay through a mixture of contractual obligations and Josep Maria Bartomeu resigning.
But all is not well at Camp Nou. Their results have faltered, Messi can regularly be seen jogging around the pitch and recently hit back at his critics, stating he was “tired of being blamed for everything” at the club.
Technically, his current deal expires next summer and with renewal talks non-existent, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Messi in light blue.