Off The Ball's European football correspondent Graham Hunter on what he expects from Pep in the Premier League
It had been expected for quite some time, but today's the day that it was finally confirmed that Manchester City is Pep Guardiola's next destination.
With question marks over how he might try and overhaul the playing squad, Off The Ball's European football correspondent Graham Hunter joined Joe Molloy on the line to discuss what the Bayern Munich football alchemist may dream up.
"What we can say for sure is that there will be changes in the Manchester City squad based around his playing philosophy. He will want more players, specifically in midfield who are infinitely comfortable in possession, who can keep and use the ball. Xavi's now in Qatar, Iniesta won't join Manchester City, we're looking at Philipp Lahm [as] one of Pep's ideal players in terms of versatility and intelligence [but] won't leave Bayern Munich," said Graham, who added that many of City's current midfield fit into Pep's blueprint.
City might try and tempt Lionel Messi and Neymar from Barcelona to the Premier League some time down the line, but Graham says he expects any overtures to prove "unsuccessful".
Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola shouts during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hamburger SV and FC Bayern Munich in Hamburg, Germany, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Given that Guardiola has so far tended to stay at a club for three or four seasons max, the next destination after City could be the Brazil national team, with Graham telling us that such a possibility is among his ambitions, while there may be a role for him at Barcelona again many years down the line.
But Graham also predicts that "when Pep comes in, some of the things he wants to demonstrate, some of the things he'll ask his team to do, some of his concepts about football right [and] football wrong will be polemic in England" and highlighted that the ex-Barcelona captain has a tendency to "react" to those who don't believe in him.
"I don't expect this to be a love in," Graham concluded, "I believe it will be a divisive and polemic three years".