Pep Guardiola has confirmed for the first time that he is moving to an English club this summer. The Spaniard, who admitted that he had received “several offers from England” but declined to name the clubs, is on the brink of taking over at Manchester City. He has also been courted by Manchester United and Chelsea.
The Bayern Munich coach said he has always wanted to work in the Premier League and is ready for a new chapter in his career, after winning multiple trophies during his spells in Spain and Germany. “The reason I have not extended my contract is simple, I want to manage in the Premier League,” Guardiola told a press conference. “I need a new challenge and I want to use that chance to be a manager in England.”
Guardiola denied that he had already agreed a deal with his next club, although it would be a shock if he were to sign with anyone other than City. “I want to experience the atmosphere in England and I look forward to [working at] the stadiums there,” he said. “If I was 60 or 65 I would have stayed, but I think I am too young. I am 44 and it is the right time. There are offers but I haven’t signed for anyone yet.”
Guardiola denied that he would take any of his Bayern Munich team with him to his next club, saying that “they have to stay in Munich”, but could not promise that he would stay in England very long. “I want new stadiums, cities and restaurants to know,” Guardiola said. “Three years is enough in a club. I’m not a coach [to stay for] 30 years.” Although Manuel Pellegrini looks set to be replaced by Guardiola at City, the Chilean sounded relaxed during Tuesday’s press conference, when he took the opportunity to criticise the latest managerial exit at his former club, Real Madrid.
The Spanish side sacked Rafa Benitez on Monday after the Spaniard had been coach for six months. Pellegrini was dismissed in 2010 after one season in charge.
“At least I finished the year,” Pellegrini said, “But I knew from the beginning I was not to continue for the next year. I am sorry about Rafa Benitez because I think he is a manager that deserves respect but it is not strange what has happened at Real Madrid in the last five or six years.
“It is absolutely different at City. One team is changing manager every year. At this team, it is not the policy of the owners to change immediately when you don’t win a title.”