As per a report from the reliable David Ornstein of the Athletic, sources within Manchester City have begun planning for life after the departure of manager Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola’s City welcomed Manchester rivals United to the Etihad on Saturday evening, for the Premier League’s most high-profile game of the weekend.
The hosts headed into proceedings aware that nothing but a win would do, after slipping a hefty 14 points off table-toppers Liverpool earlier in the day.
United, on the other hand, were hoping to close the gap on the top-4, following Chelsea’s surprise defeat at relegation-battling Everton.
And, when all was said and done, it was the Red Devils who came away with all 3 points.
A superb performance on the part of the visitors, going forward in the first-half, and defensively following the interval, saw United secure an impressive 2-1 victory.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial bagged the goals for Solskjaer’s men, as Nicolas Otamendi’s late header eventually proved little more than a consolation.
Highlights: Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United
Pep to move on?
While, as outlined above, visitors United impressed the masses with their display at the Etihad on Saturday, the same could not be said for Man City.
The Sky Blues again looked some way short of their brilliant best in attacking areas, struggling to break down a resolute Red Devils backline.
At the other end, meanwhile, City looked susceptible to the break time and time again, with their defensive stability looking like a thing of the past.
As such, with their derby showing having come as just the latest in a number of disappointing performances of late, and the English champions looking increasingly-likely to surrender their Premier League crown to Liverpool, questions have inevitably begun to be asked of Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola’s influence on the Citizens’ dressing room has evidently begun to wane over the early months of the new season, with many having questioned whether the Spaniard could soon call time on his spell in Manchester.
And, as per the aforementioned report from David Ornstein, such concerns have now begun to spread at Manchester City.
Despite Guardiola having made it clear that he would be open to penning a new deal with the Sky Blues, ‘there are sources who hold a growing belief that the Catalan will depart’.
This could prove even more of a certainty ‘if he wins the Champions League’.
As such, for the first time, sources at City are said to have begun planning for life after Guardiola.