Pep Guardiola has put Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United on red alert.
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The Spanish coach announced in December that he would not be renewing his current contract at Bayern Munich, which runs until the end of the 2015-16 season, and for the first time he has confirmed that he wants his next move to be in the Premier League.
Speaking at a news conference in Germany, the first following the winter break, here’s what Guardiola had to say about where he will land next.
“The reason why I didn’t extend my contract is pretty simple, I want to manage in the Premier League,” Guardiola said. “I haven’t decided on a new club yet. I think I’m young enough and I need a new challenge. My career is a long way from over but when I have a new club, the club will make the announcement. At the moment I can’t say anything else because nothing is fixed.
“I want to experience a new city and I want to work in England. I have several offers from England but I haven’t signed anything yet. I have an opportunity to work in England. I think I’m at the right age and I feel it is the right move for me. That is the reason I have taken this decision.”
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Guardiola, 44, won 14 trophies in four incredible seasons as Barcelona’s manager from 2008-12 as the former Barca midfielder created one of the greatest teams in history.
Since 2013 he has taken that success to the Bundesliga and has led Bayern Munich to back-to-back German titles and added a German Cup along the way, yet success in the UEFA Champions League has evaded him with the German powerhouse.
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In terms of where he will be heading to in England, the three aforementioned giants are his most likely destination.
With Chelsea firing Jose Mourinho and currently having Guus Hiddink in charge on an interim basis, they’re on the hunt for a permanent appointment and are said to have already asked Guardiola to name his price.
Manchester City have long been linked with a move for the Catalan native who is closely linked with their high-ranking directors, Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Sorriano, from the trio all spending time at Barcelona. Those directors and City’s Abu Dhabi owners see Guardiola as the key cog in helping City to elevate itself to becoming one of most famous clubs in the world.
As for Manchester United, their recent struggles have been well documented with Louis Van Gaal under increasing pressure at Old Trafford after $400 million was spent on new players but little progress has been made in terms of becoming contenders for the PL title and Champions League crown. Is Guardiola the main to return United to the top of English and European soccer?
One thing is for sure, with Guardiola confirming he wants to head to England and already has offers on the table, an all-out battle between three of the PL’s big boys is about to play out for one of the greatest managers in the world.