City appoint former Barca man

Txiki Bergiristain
Txiki Bergiristain (left) worked closely with Pep Guardiola. Photo: PA

Manchester City have announced the appointment of Spaniard Txiki Begiristain as their new director of football.

The Premier League champions have appointed the 48-year-old, who has held the same position at Barcelona, as part of their plan to make the club world leaders in developing and recruiting players.

Begiristain worked at Barcelona from 2008 to 2010 and City confirmed he would "take responsibility for supporting the first-team manager, Roberto Mancini, in first-team recruitment and operations".

City also confirmed Brian Marwood, currently the club's football administrator, would take on the role of managing director of the new City Football Academy when it opens at the start of the 2013/14 season.

He will be responsible for the recruitment, development, training and management of up to 400 players.

Both men will report to chief executive Ferran Soriano.

Begiristain, who played for Real Sociedad and Barcelona during his playing career, told the club's official website: "I am very pleased indeed to have been offered such an exciting opportunity.

"The progress and on field achievements at Manchester City are plain for all to see and I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to its future success.

"I am very much looking forward to working with Brian Marwood, Roberto Mancini and Ferran Soriano in continuing to build a football team and philosophy which will serve Manchester City well in the near and long term future."

Soriano added: "Sustainability has always been central to Sheikh Mansour's investment in Manchester City Football Club.

"The long term future of the football club is dependent upon our ability to recruit and develop young players all the way through to the first team squad. The focus must be on both academy and first Team and the close co-ordination between them.

"Given the scale and importance of this challenge, we want to commit our very best people to it. I am delighted that Brian Marwood will take leadership of the CFA initiative and I am equally very pleased to welcome an individual of Txiki Begiristain's calibre to the club.

"I have no doubt that together, and in support of Roberto Mancini and the wider football club, they will be a formidable team. "

Marwood added: "The club's new football operations structure is a hallmark of our hard work to date and the two leadership roles are a necessity borne of both success and ambition.

"Txiki and I have a shared philosophy when it comes to football operations and I very much look forward to the work that we will carry out together.

"The leadership of CFA allows me to take up an incredibly challenging role. We have a shared expectation that CFA will shape the footballing future of MCFC and as a result it is a role through which I feel I can make a major contribution to the club."

City lie second in the table following Saturday's win over Swansea, one point behind leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

They look to be on their way out of the Champions League at the group stage for the second season running, though, as they have taken just one point from their opening three games.