Chelsea shunned as Pep Guardiola is named Bayern Munich manager

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Former Barcelona coach to return to management in Germany

Bayern Munich today confirmed that Pep Guardiola will take over the Bundesliga side from the end of the current season.

The former Barcelona coach has signed a three-year deal that runs until 2016.

Current Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, whose contract expires at the end of the current campaign, will remain until the end of the season with Guardiola starting work on July 1.

Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "Pep Guardiola is one of the most successful coaches in the world and we are sure that he can make not just Bayern, but all of German football shine."

Today's surprise announcement brings an end to speculation about where the Spaniard would ply his trade.

Having brought his four year spell at Barcelona to an end last summer, during which time he won 14 trophies including three league titles and two Champions Leagues, the 41-year-old took a sabbatical from the game.

He announced recently that he was ready to return to the game, and was most strongly linked with a move to Chelsea, where owner Roman Abramovich has coveted his services for some time.

In pictures: Pep Guardiola

Speculation that he would move to Stamford Bridge increased only yesterday when he said he wanted to manage in England, having never fulfilled his dream to play here.

He said: "As a player, I couldn't realise my dream to play there [in England]. But I hope in the future I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there and feel the experience of all the coaches and players that have been there. It is unique, to play in that league. I want to feel the supporters, the environment, the media and the style of the players and everything.

"I am still young, just 41, so I hope in the future I could be able to train there and enjoy that. I've always found English football very fascinating.

"The support is amazing. In Italy, Latin people will support you when they are playing well and when you lose, they kill you. In England, I'm always surprised that people always support everything and that is nice. That's why, maybe, I hope to have the challenge or the opportunity to train there."

It would appear Guardiola, who was speaking at the FA's national football centre, was simply leading everyone on. He had also been linked with Manchester City had they decided to make a change - where their two high-ranking former Barcelona executives, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, would surely have opted for their former colleague.

Manchester United had also been linked with Guardiola had Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire.

However it is with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga that Guardiola returns to work.

Only yesterday Bayern's media director Markus Horwick dismissed speculation linking the Spaniard with the current league leaders as "complete rubbish".

Bayern are still smarting over their narrow failures in the Champions League, most recently in last year's final when they lost to Chelsea on penalties and in 2010 to Inter Milan in the final. It would appear the appointment of Guardiola will have been made with that in mind considering his European pedigree.

Today's announcement will most frustrate Chelsea, who brought in Rafael Benitez earlier this season as 'interim-manager' in a clear indication of their desire to employ Guardiola when he returned to work.

Benitez has been vastly unpopular with Chelsea fans since his appointment, however the pill has been marginally easier to swallow with the assumption he would be disposed of at the end of the season. Benitez's reign now appears much likelier to continue beyond the current campaign, however the calls for Jose Mourinho to return will increase.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
TV First US networks like HBO shook up drama - now it's comedy's turn
News
i100
Travel
Pool with a view: the mMarina Bay Sands in Singapore
travel From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
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.

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect