City did not replace Mikel Arteta when he left his role as Guardiola’s assistant to become Arsenal manager last December, but newspapers Marca and AS said he is set to hire Lillo, who recently left Chinese Super League side Qingdao Huanghai.
Lillo, 54, has been a coach for 35 years, working as an assistant to Jorge Sampaoli with Sevilla and the Chile national team. He has had limited success in a number of 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 in a 2012 interview with Fifa, explaining that the former Barcelona midfielder went to see 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.”