Bayern Munich structure will have impressed Pep Guardiola says Owen Hargreaves

Former Barcelona manager will take over in Germany in July

Former Bayern Munich and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves believes Pep Guardiola has made a shrewd decision in choosing the Bundesliga above the Barclays Premier League.

Guardiola was yesterday named as the next Bayern manager, with his three-year contract beginning in the summer when Jupp Heynckes steps down and retires.

Chelsea, last year's Champions League winners, have been repeatedly linked with the man Blues owner Roman Abramovich is reputed to admire greatly.

Reports have claimed Guardiola was offered a highly lucrative contract to take over at Stamford Bridge when interim manager Rafael Benitez's stint in charge finishes at the end of the season, and it has been confirmed that he turned down more money from elsewhere to go to Bayern.

Chelsea have never confirmed their interest in the former Spain midfielder, but his record at Barca - where he won 14 trophies in four years - made Guardiola the most sought-after out-of-work coach in world football.

Hargreaves said on BBC Radio Five: "There aren't many clubs within European football that have the stability and structure that Bayern Munich has in place.

"People look at the glamour of the Premier League and its global appeal but I think he probably saw the structure in place at the club, the success of the club and quality of the players. And the facilities and the stadiums are better than anywhere in the world, I would guess.

"I think he's probably looked at all aspects and, in my opinion rightfully so, thought that's the best destination for him."

It emerged that Guardiola signed up for Bayern before Christmas.

His agent Josep Maria Orobitg said: I don't know exactly which day, around the 20th or the second half of December."

Speaking on EFE Radio, Orobitg added: "He chose Bayern because of all the teams from which he had offers it was the best.

"We were looking over the offers and this isn't the team which offered the most money. It was chosen for the organisation there, for the potential that he sees, and for their players."

Since leaving Barcelona last summer, Guardiola has taken a career break and lived in New York, but now Bavaria and the Bundesliga beckons.

"I can imagine that he was overwhelmed by offers," said Franz Beckenbauer, the Bayern honorary president.

Beckenbauer told Germany's Sky Sport News HD: "I have to congratulate Bayern for bringing in Guardiola."

Guardiola's appointment came as a shock to former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Villas-Boas, now at Tottenham, told CNN World Sport: "I'm so surprised that I asked my media advisor from Tottenham if it was true. Obviously it's a big, big club - one of the biggest clubs in the world - in a league where we didn't maybe expect Guardiola to be in."

Trizia Fiorellino, chair of the Chelsea Supporters Group, told Press Association Sport she saw no obvious candidate to step in this summer at Stamford Bridge after Guardiola chose Bayern.

Fiorellino said: "I think the fans are just wondering what this means for us.

"I don't think Roman Abramovich made any secret Guardiola was our first choice.

"It's time to look elsewhere but there's no-one really available.

"Some are hoping Jose (Mourinho) comes back, others fancy Jurgen Klopp, the Borussia Dortmund manager."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence