Barcelona 'very happy' with Pep Guardiola decision to manager Bayern Munich

Former manager had been sought by a wealth of clubs

Pep Guardiola's decision to return to management with Bayern Munich this summer has received the thumbs up from his former club Barcelona.

Guardiola, currently on a year-long sabbatical after leaving Barca last summer, looked to have his pick of some of Europe's biggest clubs with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, AC Milan, Roma and Paris St Germain all linked to his services.

However, it was Bayern who won the race for the 41-year-old, announcing yesterday he had signed a three-year deal and would be taking over at the end of the season when current manager Jupp Heynckes retires.

Tito Vilanova, who was Guardiola's assistant during four record-breaking years at Barca before being installed as his successor last year, admitted he was unaware what decision Guardiola had taken about his future, but feels Bayern is a good destination for him.

"I didn't know where he was going, I didn't know anything. I suppose he couldn't say. I'm very happy that he's returning to football and to one of Europe's great clubs," he said.

"I don't know what possible teams he could have gone to, nor the kinds of contracts he was offered but I'm sure they were all of the top level. He had time to choose and would have thought it all over very well.

"What's clear is that he couldn't go wrong because they were all top teams. And Bayern are an historic club, with four Champions League titles with some fantastic facilities."

Vilanova also insisted he had no idea who Guardiola's assistant would be amid speculation former Spain and Real Madrid striker Raul, who spent two seasons in Germany with Schalke before leaving for Qatar last summer, could be in line for the role

Guardiola's decision has also gone down well with others at the Nou Camp.

Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said: "I'm very pleased for Guardiola. It means that he's doing well and that he's well rested, it means that he's eager to return to the world of football. Bayern have made a great signing.

"Bayern are a club that can offer you a solid and stable project, they also have good players. He's found what he was looking for and I'm happy.

"I'm sure that he will bring something new and will oblige all of us to move forward."

Club captain Carles Puyol said on his club's website: "They (Bayern) are a very good team and he is a great coach. He's going to one of the greats in Europe and we wish him the best."

Midfielder Javier Mascherano added: "It was expected that Guardiola would coach a great club and Bayern are one of them. They have great German players and style of play and philosophy similar to which you find here."

The appointment proves the strength of Bayern's global reputation, according to the club's honorary president Franz Beckenbauer.

"It shows they are on a par with the real greats - Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United," Beckenbauer told Sky television.

"Hats off to them. I'm sure Guardiola was snowed under with offers.

"He has become one of the most successful and best coaches in recent years and to get him is excellent."

Guardiola's impending arrival in the Bundesliga has been met with approval elsewhere in Germany.

"All I can do is congratulate them from the bottom of my heart, and without any envy," said Hans-Joachim Watzke, general manager of Bayern's biggest Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

"You have got to say hats off to them," he added in Die Welt newspaper. "This is a huge thing for the Bundesliga as it gives it an even greater reputation internationally."

Former Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, whose success in leading the club to five Bundesliga titles and Champions League glory is seen as the benchmark for Guardiola, praised his former club for beating off illustrious competition for Guardiola's signature.

"It's just typical Bayern," he said. "They are always good for a major transfer.

"For Guardiola to come is a very important sign for the club. Once again, they have managed to lay the foundations in advance and avoid speculation early on."

PA

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star