MANCHESTER CITY are set to appoint Pep Guardiola's old boss Juanma Lillo as their assistant manager.
Guardiola was briefly managed by the Spanish maestro during his six-month stint at Mexican outfit Dorados Sinaloa at the twilight of his career in 2006.
City did not replace Mikel Arteta when he left for the top job at the Emirates last December, but according to Marca and AS the club have eyed Lillo as replacement.
He recently parted ways Chinese Super League side Qingdao Huanghai – where he had Yaya Toure in his squad – but he left during the lay off caused by coronavirus.
The 54-year-old has been a coach for 35 years, working with Sevilla, Chile, Real Sociedad, Almeria and Atletico Nacional where he has often had limited success.
The Spaniard has also held managerial jobs in Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Japan, where he coached Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Lukas Podolski at Vissel Kobe.
Guardiola has previously described Lillo as a "maestro" and regards him as one of the biggest influences on his career.
The City chief pinpoints his short-time in Mexico for spurring him onto a glittering coaching career with Barcelona.
The pair share a long-standing admiration for their hero Johan Cruyff who has influenced both their managerial styles and Guardiola views his former boss as a tactical idol.
In an interview in 2012 with Fifa, Lillo emotionally admitted: "Guardiola is like a son to me,
"He told me that he liked how my team played a lot and wanted to stay in touch. What began as a professional relationship developed into something much more."
Ironically his first game in the dug-out could be against Pep’s old assistant Arteta.
Liverpool legend Xabi Alonso had been touted for the No2 job at the Etihad in April.
The Spaniard visited City's training ground in 2018 to learn about the club's coaching methods and the Etihad boss backed him to become a top manager following his retirement.
Rodolfo Borrell, who is already part of City's coaching staff, has been acting as interim assistant coach and was also tipped for the job, but it seems the club would prefer to look for an external appointment.
Other possible options included club legend David Silva and Iniesta, but both are still playing so are unlikely to be swayed into the dug-out just yet.
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