One of Pep Guardiola’s trusted assistants has provided the biggest hint yet that the Catalan is committed to Manchester City for the long haul.
Goal has learned that Domenec Torrent, a key member of Guardiola’s close-knit group of coaches and analysts, has purchased an exclusive property in the heart of Manchester - and he will not be moving in until 2018.
The Deansgate address, thought to cost in the region of £1.8 million, is currently under renovation and will be kitted out with top-of-the-range fittings and furnishings over the next year.
Guardiola’s deal is set to expire in 2019 but he will be at least half-way through that agreement by the time Torrent is ready to move in, suggesting City will not need to look for a new managerial team any time soon.
It was widely reported at the start of January that Guardiola may not even see out his three-year deal at the Etihad Stadium, given his sometimes terse media interviews and admission that he would not be coaching when he is 60 years old.
But those suggestions are wide of the mark. It is understood Guardiola met with City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak following Saturday’s game against Tottenham and insisted he sees his long-term future in England, and could even stay for five years.
Torrent, Manel Estiarte, Lorenzo Buenaventura and Carles Planchart have been vital to Guardiola’s success at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich and joined him in Manchester last summer.
All of them, as well as CEO Ferran Soriano and sporting director Txiki Begiristain, who recently had his own apartment renovated, live in Manchester city centre.