Manchester City confirm Juanma Lillo appointment

Manchester City have confirmed the appointment of Juan Manuel ‘Juanma’ Lillo as number two to Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola has been without an assistant since Mikel Arteta departed in December to become Arsenal manager while Lillo has left his managerial role at Qingdao Huanghai.

Earlier on Tuesday, Diario Sport had reported that the contract length would be one year in length, although the English champions did not clarify the details.

Lillo said, as confirmed in City’s statement: “I am delighted to have joined Manchester City’s coaching staff.

“My relationship with Pep goes back many years and I am thrilled to be joining him as part of this exciting team.

“Manchester City has enjoyed much success over recent seasons and played a brand of beautiful football we have come to expect from this club and its manager.

“It’s a pleasure to become a part of this group and I hope to make an important contribution to the club’s success going forwards.”

Director of Football Txiki Begiristain added: “We are delighted to welcome Juanma to Manchester City.

“His vast experience working across three continents and with some of the most famous names in world football will be an invaluable asset to Pep and his team.

“We look forward to him playing a vital role as we return to football.”

As reported by Marca, former City captain and current Anderlecht player-manager Vincent Kompany and Real Sociedad coach Xabi Alonso were both approached about the position.

However, the English champions have now turned to Lillo – who has formerly coached Real Oviedo, Real Zaragoza and Real Sociedad among many other clubs – who has been a significant influence on Guardiola’s coaching career.

Lillo said of the former Barcelona boss in 2012 that “Guardiola is like my son”, while Guardiola travelled to Mexico in 2006 to play under Lillo at Dorados de Sinaloa so that he could learn from his tactical approach.

Lillo, 54, was last in Spanish football as assistant to Jorge Sampaoli at Sevilla – having previously been his number two with the Chilean national team – and has since managed at Atletico Nacional and Vissel Kobe.

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