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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
Life and Style
Great minds like Einstein don't think alike
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power