Bayern Munich are ready to hand Carlo Ancelotti the task of replacing Pep Guardiola as manager at the Allianz Arena after losing patience with the Spaniard’s refusal to resolve his future at the club.
Senior figures at Bayern believe that Guardiola is preparing to announce his decision to leave the German champions when his contract expires next June having been tempted to move to the Premier League by Manchester City.
Guardiola is planning to clarify his intentions following Bayern’s Bundesliga encounter with Hannover on Saturday, but moves have already been made to secure Ancelotti as his successor with Bayern determined to avoid a period of uncertainty at the club.
Ancelotti, out of work since being sacked by Real Madrid at the end of last season, is understood to have already been offered the opportunity to succeed Guardiola.
In an exclusive interview with the Independent last week, the Italian admitted his desire to return to work next summer having chosen to spend a year out of the game in the wake of departure from Real, who he guided to Champions League glory in 2014.
While Ancelotti had been keen to work again in the Premier League, following a successful two-year spell at Chelsea, the opportunity to take charge of Bayern is likely to prove too great a position to reject in order to wait for the potential chance to succeed Louis van Gaal at Manchester United next summer.
Ancelotti has already turned down a hugely lucrative offer to succeed Andre Villas Boas as Zenit St Petersburg coach, but Bayern are prepared to offer the 56-year-old a two-year deal with the challenge of restoring the club as European champions.
Having won three European Cups with AC Milan and Real, Bayern regard Ancelotti as the perfect successor for Guardiola, who has so far been unable to recreate his Champions League success with Barcelona in Bavaria.
Bayern could announce their managerial plans as early as this weekend due to an increasing frustration with the perception that they are allowing Guardiola to control the situation. On Tuesday night Guardiola, when asked about his future, said: “Tonight, I have no answer. Next week, you will know the answer. Next week there will be clarity.”
Guardiola, 44, has made no secret of his desire to work in the Premier League at some stage of his career and City are currently strong favourites to tempt him from Bayern.
City director of football Txiki Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano both have a long-standing friendship with Guardiola from their time together at Barcelona and the pair have convinced City’s Abu Dhabi hierarchy that they can lure the Bayern coach to the Etihad.
And although Manuel Pellegrini was given a one-year contract extension in August, securing him to the club until June 2017, the Chilean would make way for Guardiola next summer should City persuade him to make the move.
Bayern’s move for Ancelotti will leave United as potentially the big losers in the managerial merry-go round, however.
Ancelotti has made clear his admiration for United and ambition to manage at Old Trafford, but with Van Gaal still in a job at the club, he could be forced to wait until June 2017 to take the reins.
But with Jurgen Klopp moving to Liverpool in October, Ancelotti lined up by Bayern and City in pole position to land Guardiola, United could be faced with a lack of credible options should the increasing pressure on Van Gaal force a change of management at the club.