Brian Kidd will be leaving Manchester City after 12 years of service as an assistant to three different managers.

And that will end the 71-year-old’s long association with the Blues, having scored 44 goals in 98 games for them as a player of the 70s.

It is believed that Kidd is not about to retire, but that he will step down as lieutenant to Pep Guardiola after serving Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini in the same capacity.

Kidd returned to City as the youth team coach in 2009 after building a brilliant reputation as a talent scout.

But when Mancini was appointed manager, Kidd was promoted to deputy manager to give the Italian someone with extensive English football experience – and he kept that post under the last two, despite Pellegrini and Guardiola also brought their own staff with them.

Kidd has acted as a confidant and wise old leader for the past 12 years, while also helping with the day-to-day running of the team.

Last season alone, young forward Liam Delap credited the veteran with making few improvements to his game – and as a forward who has scored 152 league goals for United, Arsenal, City, Everton and Bolton, as well as a few selections in England, Kidd was well worth listening to.

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It is understood that Kidd is not retiring, despite turning 71 on the day of the Champions League final – exactly 53 years after scoring in the European Cup final for Manchester United in his 18th.

He said: “It has been a privilege to be part of such an exciting chapter in the history of this club.

“I can only thank Pep, Roberto and Manuel for their leadership during a time of change and enormous challenges for everyone involved here. I hope I offered them enough help and support along the way to make a difference and play a small part in the success of the different teams.

“Having also played for Manchester City it was very special to come back and over the past 12 years I have felt the warmth of the management, the staff and the fans. I am incredibly grateful to all of them.

“I would also like to say what an honor it was to witness the evolution of the club under the leadership of Cheikh Mansour and the leadership of Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

“I am a man from Manchester, and the work that has been done to improve the city of Manchester and the local community is fantastic. I only wish the best for Manchester City’s future.

There was a hint that Kidd might be about to leave when Guardiola unusually invited Kidd to share the post-match press conference with him following the Blues’ Carabao Cup victory at Wembley.

Guardiola said: “Brian Kidd is a legend in this country. Not just for what he’s done here at Manchester City, but at other clubs throughout his incredible career.

“He was so important to me during my time at the club, and I’m sure for Roberto and Manuel too. He has so much respect in our locker room, of myself, my coaches and especially the players.

“His experience helped us achieve something very special during his time here and I speak on behalf of everyone at Manchester City when I thank him for everything he has done.”

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