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Man City lining up Mauricio Pochettino to take over as boss if Pep Guardiola fails to agree new deal

MANCHESTER CITY are eyeing Mauricio Pochettino amid doubts over Pep Guardiola’s future.

The former Tottenham boss is also on Barcelona’s radar with Quique Setien set to be sacked.

But Poch has admirers at City and would love to stay in England.

He knows Guardiola, reeling from Saturday’s Champions League exit to Lyon, has just ten months left on his contract.

So far Guardiola has not committed to staying beyond next summer, which could soon leave City in limbo.

The club hierarchy would ideally like him to extend his deal and continue – despite another Euro failure.

His close friends at City – chief exec Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain – are keen for him to stay on.

But Pep admitted last month chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak was “not happy” with their effort in the league – and the failure to win the FA Cup and Champions League since will not have helped.

Poch, 48, is well known to the Catalan powerbase at the Etihad from his days working in Barcelona at Espanyol.

He is believed to have his admirers behind the scenes – and his record in Europe will not have gone unnoticed.

Last season he guided Spurs to the Champions League final for the first time in their history – although they ultimately lost to Liverpool.

Meanwhile Guardiola’s failure to get past the quarter final stage for a fourth successive year at City is bound to be a source of huge frustration.

Poch still has a home in Hertfordshire and has said when he left Tottenham in the autumn that he would ideally like to manage in England again.

He had always previously suggested he could not manage Barcelona out of loyalty to Espanyol – but his views may have changed after nine months out of the game.

He was always viewed as a possible Manchester United manager but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is safe for the foreseeable future now.

Taking over from Guardiola and achieving the European glory which the club craves would appeal to him and be a challenge that he relished.

He has always spoken publicly of his respect for the City boss – although privately he resented living in his shadow in Catalonia.

He would not be the only name in the frame to succeed Pep though and it would be a hugely attractive job when he does go.

RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann is another whose European exploits will have caught the eye of the City top brass.

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