Pep Guardiola has decided that his next managerial job will be in the Premier League, with the current Bayern Munich head coach informing his friends that he wants to work in England in what is likely to be his final job in club football.
Reports in Spain claim the former Barcelona manager has decided on a move to the Premier League, having conquered Spain and Germany already. However, there remains uncertainty over when that move will be, given that his contract with Bayern expires at the end of this season though the club do want to extend his stay in Bavaria.
A press conference no-show on Friday did nothing to dispel the rumours of Guardiola’s impending exit, although having refused to entertain questions surrounding his future in recent months, the cancellation could well have been down to the suggestions coming out of Spain that he has already signed a pre-contract agreement with Manchester City.
Bayern said on Friday that his non-appearance was due to personal reasons.
The 44-year-old has no end of options should he head to the Premier League anytime soon. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is under pressure to turn results around and lead the defending champions back into top four contention, and having already tried to lure Guardiola to Stamford Bridge in the past, they would be keen to do so once again.
Manchester United attempted to bring the Spaniard in when Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire, only to lose out to Bayern, and with Louis van Gaal failing to win many fans with his conservative style of football, the possibility of signing Guardiola would not go begging at Old Trafford.
The interest from City appears to be the hottest though, with Manuel Pellegrini facing the sack if he fails to win the Premier League title this season despite signing a contract extension earlier this year that runs until the summer of 2017.
City are determined to sign Guardiola as their next manager, and hope that a genuine pursuit of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi could convince him that his future lies at the Etihad – reports on Friday suggested City are willing to fund a £800,000-a-week deal to sign Messi.
However, there does remain one other option at the Emirates, with eyes beginning to turn to Arsene Wenger’s future once again. At 66 years old, Wenger has 19 months remaining on his current contract, and the Arsenal manager hinted earlier this season that it may be his last. Arsenal will not sack Wenger given all he has done for the club, and Wenger will not walk out on the team he built in its entirety, so the likelihood is a new manager will only be brought in when Wenger walks.
Should Guardiola get a hint of Wenger deciding enough is enough at the end of next season, he could elect to remain with Bayern for one more year before moving to Arsenal. It’s previously been reported that Guardiola would prefer a move to London if he were to move to England, which would put Chelsea and the Gunners in the driving seat.
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