Pep Guardiola has revealed he is weighing up multiple offers from England as elite Premier League clubs battle to attract the Bayern Munich manager.
The Spaniard last month revealed he would be leaving Bayern at the end of this season, and yesterday confirmed his next move, providing he can find the right club, would be to the Premier League.
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 said.
“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.
It is no wonder there is so much interest from Premier League clubs in Guardiola, with Manchester City the bookmakers’ favourites.
The Spaniard 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, could stay on at the Emirates Stadium next season.
Guardiola paid tribute to the man who will be his successor at Bayern, Carlo Ancelotti, and hopes to ensure a smooth transition.
“I think this is a perfect decision for the club and I wish Carlo the best,” added Guardiola, whose main target is the Champions League this season.
“I’ll continue to work here to pass Carlo the best team.”
Where next for Pep?
The Catalan worked with City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Beguiristain during his time at Barcelona.
He may wish to reprise the relationship and take inconsistent City to the next level domestically and in Europe, with Manuel Pellegrini’s position less than stable.
Jose Mourinho could be replaced permanently by his nemesis if owner Roman Abramovich can persuade the 44-year-old he has the vision not to resort to the axe if things do not immediately go according to plan. London will likely appeal, but will Guardiola gamble with a club that has a history of hiring and firing?
Louis van Gaal’s position is less than secure, with even sponsors Adidas criticising United’s style of play. After David Moyes and the Dutchman, Guardiola could be the successor to Alex Ferguson that United have been looking for. The chance to revive a giant could appeal.
Arsene Wenger is in his 20th year as Arsenal boss and the Gunners will have the challenge of finding his successor at some point. If London is where Guardiola wishes to be, Arsenal may offer a ’safer’ alternative than Chelsea, with the stability and resources in place to thrive.
(Odds from Paddy Power)
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