Man City get twist in Pep Guardiola succession plan with Vincent Kompany agreement

If it was up to Pep Guardiola to choose his Man City successor, he may back a familiar face
-Credit: (Image: 2023 Marc Atkins)

Next month, Pep Guardiola will enter the final 12 months of his current Manchester City contract and his recent comments suggest he still has not decided whether to extend.

Speaking after securing his sixth Premier League title, Guardiola said: "I want to continue next season but the reality is I'm closer to saying bye-bye than staying for another seven years. Next season we talk and we decide what is best for everyone. Right now I'm exhausted and tired, but I'm happy, I'm fine."

There was some confusion over his comments, but the general reading has been that Guardiola means he will honour the final year on his contract, and may still extend, but will not be staying for another seven years. City will be calm over the manager's stance, and will also have provisional plans for what happens when Guardiola does depart.

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If it was up to Guardiola to choose his successor, he may back a familiar face. “He will be back sooner or later. His destiny to be manager of City is already written in the stars," he said of former captain Vincent Kompany last season. "It’s going to happen. I don’t know when but it’s going to happen."

Kompany distanced himself from the comments. "I think City should always have the best manager in the world, and that is not me," he said.

"They have the best manager in the world today and I hope he stays for another 10 years. If not, they should have the best manager in the world after Pep. From my side, I am way down the ranking so there isn't even a second in my thoughts when I am busy with that."

Kompany was speaking when Burnley were still a Championship side, earning an impressive promotion in 2022/23 but the Clarets struggled in the Premier League this term after a big summer of spending, relegated in 19th place earlier this month.

Now, though, Kompany could have a major promotion with reports that he is set to take the vacant Bayern Munich job, with a 'verbal agreement' in place. It would be some turnaround and a massive leap for an inexperienced manager. His justification for not being a contender for any future City job was that he didn't have the elite experience - if he does well at the Allianz Arena it could be a perfect way to prove himself at the highest level.

However, if Kompany does well enough to impress City bosses - assuming they share Guardiola's assessment of him - Bayern would want to keep him in Germany after a couple of years of managerial turnover. If he doesn't do well, it may be his first and last job among Europe's elite.

With a potential vacancy at City next summer, Kompany's reported step-up might not align with Guardiola's plans, but it would offer the Blues clarity over whether Kompany would be an appropriate future hire.

Other names linked with succeeding Guardiola include Roberto De Zerbi, who has just departed Brighton and is linked with various vacancies across Europe. Guardiola called De Zerbi one of the most influential managers of the last decade, and has plenty of admiration for the Italian. Like Kompany, if De Zerbi takes an elite job with high expectations this summer, he could prove himself as a potential Guardiola successor - but if he does well somewhere, would he leave after as little as a year?

Add in former assistant Enzo Maresca, who has just earned promotion with Leicester and is linked with Chelsea. Guardiola will make his decision over the course of the next season, and at some point in the future they will have to decide which direction to go in when it comes to a successor.

There will be close eyes paid to Kompany's progress at Bayern, if he does go there, and not just because he is a club legend at the Etihad.