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Premier League managerial power rankings

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There’s a new sheriff at West Ham United, and it’s no small-time boss.

Former Premier League champion manager Manuel Pellegrini is taking over the London side, which had us wondering how high he’d move up the acclaim ladder upon hiring (as of post time).

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

With the 20th spot still open — will it be Fulham or Aston Villa — the Arsenal and Everton jobs vacant for now, and both Neil Warnock and Nuno Espirito Santo yet to manage their clubs in the top flight, we rank the power status of the 15 other active Premier League bosses.

15. Javi Gracia, Watford — Manager don’t usually last long at Vicarage Road, and Gracia doesn’t have a record for sticking around clubs for too long himself.

14. Mark Hughes, Southampton — Saints stayed in the Premier League, and Hughes deserves credit for pushing the buttons on a talented squad.

13. Claude Puel, Leicester City — A disappointing finish to his season keeps Leicester outside the Europa League, and so he has a bit more to prove after an impressive reclamation job at the King Power Stadium.

12. David Wagner, Huddersfield Town — Keeping Town in the Premier League was impressive, but we’re not sure how much we learned about the long-term prognosis of Jurgen Klopp‘s best pal.

11. Chris Hughton, Brighton and Hove Albion — He’d led several clubs to Premier League promotion, and coaxed fine seasons out of what appeared to be a subpar defense at season’s open.

10. Eddie Howe, Bournemouth — One of the brightest young managerial minds, can he take the next step on the South Coast?

9. Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace — What he did upon inheriting and then overseeing one of the worst starts in Premier League history was nothing short of brilliant. Clearly he hasn’t stopped learning unlike many other PL “retreads.”

8. Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham — What will a few years outside the Premier League, if anything, have done to the one-time Man City leader. Don’t forget: The season City won the PL season, he coaxed 20-plus goal campaigns in all competitions from Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo, and Yaya Toure.

7. Antonio Conte, Chelsea — Tactically and experience-wise, he’s so much higher on the list. Regardless of the mess at Chelsea, better was needed this season.

6. Sean Dyche, Burnley — Guiding tiny Burnley to the Europa League is as impressive a feat as any outside of what Guardiola did this year and Claudio Ranieri did at Leicester City.

— BONUS — 6b. Unai Emery, if hired at Arsenal —

5. Rafa Benitez, Newcastle United — Considering his resume, it shouldn’t be as surprising that he kept United up despite his owner refusing to green-light a real answer at center forward. Worked career years out of Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey.

4. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool — The Champions League final says something, especially in a year he sold Philippe Coutinho, but his team still lacks the consistency of the three men in front of him.

3. Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur — Spurs have smartly spent and kept their stars around, but their financial outlay arguably should not have them consistently finishing ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal.

2. Jose Mourinho, Manchester United — Still a defensive marvel, still a genius, still somewhat hilarious… but we all know who No. 1 is…

  1. Pep Guardiola, Manchester City

Transfer Gossip: Pep scouts de Ligt, Lewandowski to Chelsea?

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Just days after winning his first Premier League title, Pep Guardiola is already on the road, scouting for new signings.

One of these players that Manchester City is reportedly scouting – likely along with many European clubs – is Ajax’s young defensive wiz Matthijs de Ligt. Just 18-years old, de Ligt finished his second full season in the Ajax first team, playing 39 games across all competitions and scoring three goals.

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The youngster was even fast-tracked into the Netherlands National Team, starved of quality defenders as they are, but he made some crucial errors that led to the Oranje missing the World Cup and a second-straight tournament.

Guardiola is eying de Ligt as the eventual replacement for Vincent Kompany, but there’s a chance Guardiola could wait to sign him with Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones ahead of de Ligt in the pecking order. However, considering how well Davinson Sanchez has done in his time in England this season, de Ligt could in theory have a similar performance, assuming he adjusts physically.

Either way, should de Ligt join Man City, they’ll have two of the brightest young defenders in European football.

Here’s a look at some other transfer rumors across the Premier League and Europe:

(more…)

Pep Guardiola says Man City won’t be big spenders any time soon

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says there won’t be nearly as much spending at the Etihad Stadium in future transfer windows.

City spent big to bring a number of huge players to town, including six players who cost more than $35 million each (Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker, Danilo, Bernardo Silva, and Ederson).

[ MORE: West Ham talks manager plans ]

But Guardiola says that’s simply the state of play in revolutionizing his club, and that he won’t have to do as much again.

From Sky Sports:

“We invested a lot of money and will invest less in the future, because instead of doing it in two or three transfer windows, we did it in one. We needed it for the age [of the squad].

“The fundamental success of this season is the quality of the players. People say you won because you invest a lot, they are right.”

It’s a good bet that City will buy another center back soon with Nicolas Otamendi (30) and Vincent Kompany (32), though those certainly aren’t ancient ages for the position. A Fernandinho understudy may also come through the door, but there are also a number of young players returning from loan (Look out for Pablo Maffeo, a big part of Girona’s surprising 11th place La Liga finish, especially).

But Guardiola’s right: The club will not have to take any big swings, and so many young players will grow simply due to understanding his system.

Pep Guardiola signs new three-year contract with Man City

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Pep Guardiola is staying at Manchester City into the next decade.

After a record-breaking season at the Etihad, Manchester City announced that the club had signed Guardiola to a new contract through 2021. If he stays for the duration of his contract, it will be the longest amount of time he’s spent at one club, after four years with FC Barcelona and three years at Bayern Munich.

[READ: Premier League clubs earned a combined $3.2 billion]

“I am so happy and excited. It’s a pleasure to be able to work here,” Guardiola said in a statement. “I enjoy working with our players every day and we will try to do our best together in the coming years. As a manager, you have to feel good to be with the players – and I feel good.

“I will focus on the desire of my players to become a better team and every day that’s what I will try to do – to improve on the pitch and improve our players. We have a young squad with an average age of 23 and we want to keep taking steps forward and maintain the levels we’ve achieved this season.”

Guardiola has been an absolute revelation in the Premier League. After a first season filled with ups and downs, he turned the league on its head with one of the most impressive seasons in history, setting a record for most points (100), most wins (32), most goals (106), highest goal-difference (+79) and more.

Keeping Guardiola as Man City manager is crucial for the club’s desire to finally get over the hump and win the UEFA Champions League, and after a season where Man City won nearly everything, they can use the rout defeats by Liverpool as motivation for next year’s Champions League.

Pep named Premier League Manager of the Year

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Surprise!

Pep Guardiola has been named the League Managers Association Premier League Manager of the Year.

[ MORE: Villa one win from PL return ]

The Manchester City boss led the team to the Premier League title, setting single season records in wins, goals, and goal differential.

It’s the third-straight season the manager of the league champion has claimed the award, with Antonio Conte (Chelsea) and Claudio Ranieri (Leicester City) winning in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Guardiola is also the third-straight manager from outside of the United Kingdom to merit the honor, and the first from Spain.

Sean Dyche of Burnley, Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace, and Rafa Benitez of Newcastle were among the names tipped to compete with Guardiola for the honor.