Vincent Kompany has turned down an opportunity to become Pep Guardiola’s coaching assistant at Manchester City in favour of continuing in his player-coaching role at Anderlecht.
The vacancy at City arose when Mikel Arteta left to join Arsenal, who are due to play at the Etihad when the Premier League is planned to return on 17 June.
Arteta was also the individual whose positive test for coronavirus in March effectively led to the suspension of the English season, and when the Belgian league was curtailed early because of the virus, Guardiola made contact with Kompany to see if he might be open to a City return.
Despite enduring a difficult season in Belgium – Anderlecht have financial problems, were in eighth place when the season ended, and Kompany had his initial job title of head coach withdrawn due to a lack of the appropriate coaching qualification – the 34-year-old defender indicated a preference for staying with his boyhood club, primarily because he wishes to keep on playing.
Opportunities to do that were already becoming scarce in Manchester by the time Kompany ended his 11-year stint with City at the end of last season, and persistent injuries were restricting his appearances anyway.
After signing off in some style with the goal against Leicester that finally tilted the 2018-19 title race City’s way, Kompany even managed to miss his own charity testimonial game the following season through injury.
With two years to run on his contract at Anderlecht, he feels he will be able to prolong his playing career in the slightly less demanding Belgian league, as well as easing himself into management at the club where he made his name before moving to Hamburg and then Manchester. If he ever changes his mind he is likely to find the City door open, but for now Guardiola’s search for a new permanent assistant will continue.