Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has finally found a replacement to fill the void on his coaching staff left by Mikel Arteta’s exit.
Guardiola is expected to reunite with Juanma Lillo, the coach who influenced him to become a manager. Lillo will be appointed as an assistant by City before the season restarts, according to ESPN FC’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.
Lillo left his previous role as manager of Chinese Super League side Qingdao Huanghai on Friday, citing “circumstances caused by the COVID-19 crisis.”
Lillo has been described by Guardiola as “the best coach I ever had” after he played for the 54-year-old during a six-month spell at Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa in 2006. It was there that Guardiola began to take an interest in coaching and examined Lillo’s training methods.
The Spanish coach has previously expressed his tremendous respect for Guardiola, calling the former Barcelona manager “one of the most important people in my life, like a son to me.”
The new addition to City’s coaching staff comes less than a year after Guardiola’s former assistant Arteta left the Etihad Stadium to become the manager of Arsenal. The pair spent three years together and won two Premier League titles at City before Arteta’s departure in December.