Manchester City to appoint Lillo as Guardiola’s assistant

Pep Guardiola is about to appoint his former mentor Juanma Lillo as his assistant coach at Manchester City, according to reports from the Spanish media on Friday.

Manchester City didn’t replace Mikel Arteta when he left his role as Guardiola’s assistant to become Arsenal manager last December, but news outlets, Marca and AS said he’s set to hire Lillo, who recently left Chinese Super League side Qingdao Huanghai.

Lillo, 54, has been a coach for well over 35 years, working as an assistant to Jorge Sampaoli during his time with Sevilla and the Chile national team.

He has had limited success during a number of spells with some first-team coaching roles at clubs including Real Sociedad, Almeria, and Atletico Nacional, and in 2005 he signed Guardiola for Mexican side Dorados Sinaloa.

“Guardiola is like a son to me,” said Lillo during a 2012 interview with FIFA, explaining that the former Barcelona manager visited him after Lillo’s Real Oviedo side had been beaten 4-2 by Barca.

“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.”

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