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What will life look like at Manchester City when Pep Guardiola decides to move on?

Pep Guardiola's contract runs out in 2023 creating a period of uncertainty at the Etihad Stadium.

It may come as a surprise, as City fans have been accustomed to seeing the intense genius patrolling the dugout, but as all good things do, his time has to come to an end at some stage.


However, it is not definite that the Catalan will leave the club when his contract comes to an end.


Guardiola is thought to be very happy in Manchester and is surrounded by people he trusts.


An excellent working relationship with Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has given the master tactician a sense of freedom and security, which Pep hasn't had at previous clubs.


The high demand and intensity demanded by the brisk pace of the Premier League Season combined with the expectation to compete in all domestic cup competitions has clearly taken its toll on Guardiola.

Despite the vast success at City, one competition still looms large over Guardiola's head.


The teams fall at the final hurdle in the Champions League final against Chelsea last summer means that Pep is still yet to find success in the competition away from Barcelona.


Guardiola will be an incredibly difficult act to follow, and there will be significant pressure on those in power at Manchester City to find a replacement that will continue the constant success.


Here are three potential replacements when Pep Guardiola's time comes to an end:


Marcello Gallardo:

Possibly a left-field choice as Gallardo is not well known in Europe, but his exploits as River Plate manager show why Barcelona showed interest in appointing the Argentinian.


Gallardo started his managerial career with Nacional in 2011, straight after his playing career ended with the Uruguayan club.


Under Gallardo's stewardship, Nacional retained the Uruguayan Primera División Championship in his first season by five points. However, Gallardo left at the end of that season.


In June 2014, Gallardo was appointed River Plate manager and was an immediate success with the team going 32 games unbeaten (eight games were under Ramón Díaz). Los Millonarios also won the Copa Sudamericana beating Atlético Nacional in the final.


The trophies flowed from then on, winning three Recopa Sudamericana's, two Copa Libertadores, one Suruga Bank Championship, three Copa Argentina's and two Supercopa Argentinas.


As well as his vast success and proven ability to compete in multiple competitions, which is needed at City, Gallardo may be able to tap into the South American market for previously unhighlighted talents.


Enzo Maresca:

Maresca may have only just left Manchester City, where he was a highly successful Elite Development Squad manager, but a return may be possible depending on how he does as the new Parma manager.


The Italian has the tough task of trying to get Parma promoted back to Serie A at the first time of asking. Parma were boosted by the return of Gianluigi Buffon to his boyhood side, as well as former Manchester City academy graduate Adrian Bernarbe following Maresca to Italy.


It will be interesting to see if Maresca can convert his winning formula at youth level to the much more physical men's game.

Gian Piero Gasperini:

Gasperini has had quite a colourful managerial career so far, beginning in 1994 when he became a coach at Juventus in 1994. His first managerial role came in 2003 taking over Crotone in 2003 and took them to Serie B through the playoffs in his first season.


Genoa was Gasperini's next club, and his managerial methodology started to become apparent. Gasperini's prefered formation of 3-4-3 caused many teams problems as he took Il Grifone to a fifth-place finish and a Europa League place.


He joined Inter Milan as manager in 2011, but the spell was an unsuccessful one, only lasting five games in the role.


Gasperini had spells at both Palermo and again Genoa before joining Atalanta in 2016. He has since transformed a struggling side to one fighting in Serie A and Europe, facing City in the 2019 competition.


Atalanta have since reached two Coppa Italia finals but have lost both finals to Lazio and Juventus.


It is thought that despite Gaspernini's attractive and high-octane style of football, his teams lack solidarity which is unlikely to see success at a higher level club.


Ultimately this may be one of the most crucial decisions the City Football group will have had to make since the start of the project in 2008.


Written by Ben Pitkeathly/@Ben_Pitkeathly2