Guardiola: City talks began last May or June


Pep Guardiola says he began the talks that led to him being appointed as Manchester City manager from the 2016-17 season in the middle of last year.

The Premier League club announced this week that Guardiola would take charge at the Etihad Stadium with Manuel Pellegrini stepping down at the end of this term.

City revealed preliminary negotiations were held with the 45-year-old in 2012, during Roberto Mancini's tenure in Manchester and Guardiola's one-year sabbatical from football between his celebrated posts at Barcelona and Bayern.

In December, Guardiola declared he would leave Bayern when his contract expires at the end of the season but, speaking at a news conference for the first time since news of his new job broke, the Spaniard revealed discussions with City began before the 2015-16 campaign.

"I held talks with the club for the first time in May or June," he said on Friday. "I will say more about it when I'm in Manchester."

Guardiola was reluctant to talk further about City ahead of Bayern's trip to in-form Bayer Leverkusen, but he was keen to temper any doubts that his future job would detract from focus on his current one.

He said: "I am like a woman. I can do several things at once. It's not a problem, I have a big talent for this.

"I told my option [moving to the Premier League] a few weeks ago.

"I have no problem with that, if I am attacked daily by the newspapers because I'm going to do everything for Bayern until my last day here.

"I know it has never happened before, a manager leaving Bayern - normally Bayern leaves the manager. But we have four months."

Guardiola's appearance followed a tense briefing on Wednesday from Matthias Sammer, where Bayern's sporting director was strongly critical of media coverage of the club.

The outgoing coach stated there was no need for Sammer to defend him personally but expressed exasperation with news conferences.

"Coaches don't get any respect anymore. It doesn't matter what we say," he added. "Why don't you write about the wonderful words I say to my players before games.

"I don't know why coaches even give press conferences anymore. There are important papers here that have not even asked me questions about the sport.

"It was the right decision not to give [individual] interviews. Journalists must know why they are here. I love to talk about tactics - back three, back four and so on."