Pep Guardiola to 'Start from Scratch' at Manchester City Amid Juventus Links

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 3, 2019

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola (L) takes part in a stage presentation following an open-top bus parade through Manchester, northern England on May 20, 2019, to celebrate winning the 2019 Premier League title, the FA Cup and English League Cup. - Pep Guardiola saluted Manchester City's history makers after they clinched the domestic treble with a swaggering 6-0 rout of Watford in the FA Cup final on Saturday. Just a week after winning a second successive Premier League crown, City's record-equalling FA Cup final victory made them the first English club to win the English title, FA Cup and League Cup in the same season. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola has said he plans to "start from scratch" at Manchester City next season, suggesting he'll remain at the Etihad Stadium despite rumours he could join Juventus.

The Serie A champions are without a manager after Massimiliano Allegri stood down at the end of the season. Guardiola, who has been linked as the Italian's successor, told reporters he intends to begin afresh after winning back-to-back Premier League titles, per Tuttosport (h/t Football Italia). 

He said: "There are five very good teams and that's why the Premier League is such a difficult competition. Next season we'll start from scratch and see what happens."

City clinched successive top-flight titles for the first time in their history, beating Liverpool to the crown by one point before the Reds went on to win the UEFA Champions League on Saturday. 

They also beat Watford and Chelsea in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals, respectively, to win a club record of three major trophies in the same season.

Liverpool's rise to the challenge against a previously dominant City brought competition back to the Premier League title race. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp revealed after Saturday's 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur that Guardiola called him in the aftermath anticipating another close battle in 2019-20, via Goal:

Goal @goal

So Jurgen Klopp spoke to Pep Guardiola straight after the #UCLfinal Here's why 👇 https://t.co/KYwzZwZ1kc

That gesture is a sign the Catalan coach is certain of his future in England. The same can't be said for Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, another rumoured contender to take over at the Juventus helm.

Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard reported it would cost £5 million to execute Sarri's release from Chelsea and that he could be appointed Juventus manager by the end of the week.

Journalist Luca Momblano recently appeared on TopCalcio24 (h/t Football Italia) and said the Juventus social media team have prepared welcome videos for both Guardiola and Sarri in anticipation of either arrival.

That came after Bianconeri sporting director Fabio Paratici told DAZN (h/t sportswriter Adam Digby) there had been no approach for Guardiola and that the club would be patient in their search:

Adam Digby @Adz77

#Juventus dS Fabio Paratici on Pep Guardiola: "We didn’t contact him, we have never considered him, he’s under contract. For this & a thousand other reasons, all these stories seem very strange to me." [via @DAZN_IT] #MCFC

Guardiola joined City in 2016 and has a contract at the club until June 2021. City have been imperious across domestic competitions in the past two seasons, but their failure to progress past the Champions League quarter-finals under his management has been a disappointment.

He held a superior record in his three seasons at Bayern Munich and made it to three successive Champions League semi-finals in that time.

Statman Dave highlighted a deficiency in his post-Barcelona career:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Pep Guardiola hasn’t won a UCL quarter final or semi-final away leg since leaving Barcelona. Curious... 🤔🤔🤔 https://t.co/bHJPwAKV8H

Sarri's rumoured appointment would put to rest any rumours of Guardiola moving to Turin this summer, and City's chief looks set where he is after winning his first English treble.