Battle for Pep Guardiola hots up as he reveals desire for Premier League 'challenge'

Battle for Pep Guardiola hots up as he reveals desire for Premier League 'challenge'

Pep Guardiola has announced his intention to move to England, intensifying a battle for his services among the Premier League’s elite.

The Spaniard last month revealed he would be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of this season, and on Tuesday confirmed his next move, providing he can find the right club, would be to England.

Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal could all be potential employers for the former Barcelona boss.

“The reason not to renew my contract with Bayern Munich, is very simple: I want to train in England’s Premier League. That’s the only reason,” Guardiola said.

“I have several offers, but have not yet committed myself. When I have a new club, the club will communicate that.

“At the moment, I can’t say anything else because nothing is fixed.”

Bayern wanted to keep Guardiola, but he wants to experience the Premier League in his career.

“I need at this moment in my career a new challenge,” the 44-year-old told a media conference, according to Bayern’s official website.

“If I were 60 or 65 I would’ve stayed, but I think I am too young. I need a new challenge.

“It was a dream, it is a dream. I am very grateful to Bayern for this huge opportunity.

“I’m going to give the best to the last day.”

Guardiola took over from Jupp Heynckes in the summer of 2013 on a three-year contract and has won back-to-back Bundesliga titles, as well as the DFB-Pokal, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

That haul is almost certainly going to be added to this season, complementing an impressive trophy collection that includes, among others, two Champions League and three Primera Division titles from his time as Barcelona boss.

Manchester City are the bookmakers’ favourites to lure Guardiola.

He previously worked with City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain during his time at Barcelona.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to be a great admirer of Guardiola and is on the look-out for a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho, with Guus Hiddink in interim charge at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season.

As for United, Louis van Gaal’s immediate future seems secure, but the club could possibly be tempted to replace one former Bayern Munich boss with another.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will have a challenging task to replace the long-serving Arsene Wenger when the Frenchman opts to leave, with the Gunners offering a more secure option than Chelsea in the British capital.

Wenger, however, is in his 20th year with Arsenal and could stay on next season.

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