Chelsea, Manchester United and City on alert after Pep Guardiola says he wants a job in England

Premier League sides on alert as former coach of Barcelona reveals his love of the English game

Pep Guardiola today gave his clearest signal yet that his next job will be in the Premier League when the former Barcelona coach said that he wanted to manage in England having never fulfilled his dream to play there.

Guardiola, 41, has been at a coaching seminar at St George's Park, the FA's national football centre, over the past two days, along with, among others, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho, who this week also stated his desire to return to the Premier League. Guardiola became the latest big figure to congratulate the Football Association on its 150th anniversary – the celebrations for which begin today at Wembley.

Currently on a sabbatical after four seasons in charge of Barcelona – during which he won three league titles and two Champions Leagues – Guardiola had hitherto said little about his future. He is the favoured candidate at Chelsea, who failed to appoint him in the summer. Should Manchester City decide to make a change it would seem inevitable that their two high-ranking former Barcelona executives, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, would choose Guardiola.

But arguably the greatest prize is if Ferguson quits United within the next two years. Getting that job would require Guardiola to be available when the 71-year-old incumbent finally calls it a day. Speaking to the FA's in-house media, he left little doubt that his next job would be in the Premier League.

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."

So far, the FA has rolled out a stellar cast to mark the beginning of its 150th celebrations, with more expected today at Wembley. As well as famous English figures from the game, there will be foreign footballers who have played a key role in the domestic game, especially the FA Cup, including Patrick Vieira.

Guardiola played at the old Wembley for Barcelona in their 1992 European Cup final win over Sampdoria. His second Champions League triumph as a manager in 2011 was at the new stadium. "That's why my relationship with England is pretty close."

The FA has also announced the launch of a national football day on 10 August, in the name of the late Sir Bobby Robson, to increase participation and raise money for his foundation. His widow, Lady Elsie Robson, said: "He'd have loved that."

Guardiola job odds

6-5 Bayern Munich

3-1 Manchester City

9-2 Chelsea

9-1 Manchester United

14-1 Arsenal

25-1 Milan, Paris St-Germain

33-1 Anzhi, Inter, Juventus, England

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'