Earlier this week it was confirmed by major European media outlets that Spanish tactician Pep Guardiola will leave his role of Bayern Munich manager at the end of the season.
With the Catalan’s contract set to expire in the summer, Pep Guardiola choose not to accept Bayern Munich’s proposal of renewing his deal before the end of 2015 and the official announcement of his departure is expected to be made after Saturday’s Bundesliga match at Hannover.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference Pep Guardiola revealed he has made up his mind and that Bayern officials have already been informed about his final decision.
“Karl-Heinz Rummenige knows absolutely everything”, Guardiola said on Friday.
With five titles already under his belt during the last three years, Pep Guardiola has set the course on leading Bayern Munich to another Bundesliga accolade, while also eyeing the most desired prize – UEFA Champions League trophy, which will ultimately be the real measure of his undisputed ability.
As the footballing world eagerly awaits the formal decision, we take our chances by analysing the five possible options that are on the cards for the Spanish manager.
The Blues have the perfect timing. Roman Abramovich cut the ties with Jose Mourinho despite the fact he saw the Portuguese as the architect of the new legacy, as the man who will lead the team forward for many years to come.
The Russian billionaire awarded Mourinho with the new contract at the end of last triumphant season as the sign of good will and confidence, but the new season took an unexpected turn for the worse and the pressure from the Board was too heavy for the Russian to resist.
One of Mourinho’s last wishes and requests made towards the Chelsea owner Abramovich was reportedly not to bring Guardiola to Chelsea, claims Metro. Still, Bayern boss is believed to be one of the leading candidates for the managerial post at Stamford Bridge.
Guus Hiddink has already arrived in London ready to take his familiar role as Chelsea caretaker until the end of the current campaign. Long-term replacement is not to be made until the summer, but Guardiola is indeed too good of an opportunity to be missed.
Whether the Catalan will be ready to step on the sinking ship is another point to argue about, with Chelsea currently standing at 40/1 to be relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season.
The Citizens have been consistently linked with Pep Guardiola over the past year and the Etihad outfit are in the best financial position ahead their direct rivals in the competition for the signature of Bayern Munich boss.
Widely expected to take over from Manuel Pellegrini, Guardiola has reportedly already received an offer of €20 million per year from the Citizens which would make the Spanish thinker the highest paid manager in the world.
Former Barcelona manager spoke to Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka, asking his compatriot about the UK lifestyle, which suggests that Premier League is indeed his favourable destination.
“We spoke about the league, the country, everything”, said Karanka.
Manchester City have an edge ahead of their rivals, as chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain have already worked with Guardiola in Barcelona and the City’s duo holds a key advantage.
Old Trafford is also thought to be Guardiola’s preferred destination and the Catalan had already spoken to Ser Alex Ferguson during his sabbatical following the departure from Barcelona.
Much will depend upon United’s position in the league at the end of the season, as United without the Champions League will stand no chance in attracting Guardiola, and the same goes for Chelsea as well.
The Red Devils’ hierarchy keeps insisting with the backing of Louis van Gaal, understandably, having invested hundreds of millions in players since his arrival.
Being the global sports brand and the world-wide recognized football franchise, United’s history and background are important aspects that Guardiola could take into consideration.
Pep Guardiola is reportedly a huge fan of Arsenal’s philosophy under Arsene Wenger and the Catalan is supposedly keen on taking over from the experienced French manager. The London-based club have emerged as the surprise candidates for the appointment of Bayern Munich boss.
Even though Arsene Wenger is enjoying a fine run in the Premier League this season with his team in frame for the title, the Frenchman could be asked to step down at the expense of Pep Guardiola, should the opportunity to land the Catalan presents itself.
Daily Mail reports that ‘high-level sources have added Arsenal to the shortlist for Guardiola’, but it is highly debatable if Arsenal management will opt to make any inquires in the delicate moment of the season and possibly disrupt the positive atmosphere ahead of the crucial title run.
Arsenal’s possession-based, attractive football makes logic in all of the speculation, which are further fuelled by information that Guardiola is ready to take yet another sabbatical and wait for Wenger to step down under his own terms in 2017.
At the end of 2011/12 season Pep Guardiola chose to take a year off to recover and recharge his batteries before returning to football.
He spent a year living in New York, but on January 7th, 2013 the Catalan tactician revealed he will be returning to football at the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or gala.
Nine days later it was announced that Guardiola will be taking over at Bayern, and the Spanish manager spent four months learning German and preparing for his next episode in the Bundesliga.
Such as scenario is highly unlikely to be repeated, however, with Premier League seen as the favourable and desired destination for Guardiola, who is ready to dig his hands in right away.
So what do you thing Pep Guardiola is most likely to choose?