A spokesperson for Southend United has confirmed that Pep Guardiola has taken over at Southend United as manager.

The news broke just hours after it was announced that Kevin Bond had resigned due to a poor run of results that had left The Shrimpers struggling on zero points at the foot of League One.

It is thought that the Spaniard’s £400m release clause at Premier League champions Manchester City was paid by the Qatari oil businessman Prince Sheikh Oonvakh, who is rumoured to be tabling a takeover bid for the club.

Speaking to the media at a hastily organised press conference in The Last Post, Guardiola said, ‘It has always been my dream to manage in the South Essex football arena.’

‘Sooner or later, as a professional you get bored with winning everything, and this is why I wanted to return to the grass roots of the game.’

‘I have admired Southend United for a long time, with their magnificent facilities, beautiful women and Thursday market.’

‘The High Street’s banging as well. Never short of a Lewis Weeton phone case and 2000 flavours of vape cartridges.’

‘There is the prospect of a new stadium as well, once the council stop insisting on silly things like adequate infrastructure.’

Reports from Marca in Spain have revealed that the first order of business after Sheikh Oonvakh’s takeover is completed will be a bid for Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

Although the Argentine is being tight-lipped about the move, a reporter outside his home allegedly saw a copy of The Evening Echo on a mantelpiece.