To say the English premier league is the next place to see Bayern Munich’s coach Pep Guardiola will be a safe bet since the 44-year-old Spaniard, whose three-year contract with the Bavarians comes to an end at the close of the season, has seen his successor in Carlo Ancellotti being announced by the club.
Guardiola, who joined the Bavarians in 2013 after leading Barcelona to 14 titles in four years, is one of the most sought-after coaches in world football.
Bayern were desperate for him to stay, having led the team to two consecutive Bundesliga titles and with the squad on target for an unprecedented fourth straight domestic crown.
They also came close to winning the Champion’s League where they reached the semi-finals in Guardiola's two seasons although victory in the competition he won with Barcelona has so far eluded him at Munich.
Manuel Pellegrini has been given all resources to shop for the best players available but has not been able to impress his bosses at Manchester City; Jose Mourinho has been given the boot at Chelsea, following an abysmal start to the defence of the their title ambitions and Luis Vaan Gaal is having a difficult time at Manchester United. All these turn of events, makes these clubs potential suitors to Guardiola.
However, our yen.com.gh sports desk thinks the scale could tilt into Chelsea’s favour even though City were reported to have reached an agreement with him weeks before his exit from Bayern Munich was made official and bases that on these five reasons.
Here are the five reasons why Pep Guardiola might join Chelsea ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United.
Why the wait?: Guus Hiddink had a previous stint with Chelsea and is regarded by many as a successful relationship after replacing Luiz Felipe Scolari. He led an underperforming Chelsea team to win the FA Cup. One quick question that pops up then is; why the wait till the close of the season where it obviously would be a situation of let’s wait and see? All in the hope of weighing his performance whether he suits the expectations. Meanwhile, his success should have earned him a straight three or four years contract as is usually done. The ‘let’s wait and see’ stance which does not seem laudable rather gives room to spin the rumour mill the more, that perhaps the short term contract offered Guus Hiddink is to make room for Pep Guardiola’s arrival since he is currently attached at Bayern and could only be available at the end of the season where his three year contract would have been exhausted.
Why the short-term contract?: Secondly, why should Guardiola wait till Chelsea gets a new coach in Hiddink before impressing it upon his employers of his departure? It perhaps looks like Guardiola met Chelsea already and they handed him assurances or pre contract signed. This arrangement obviously, won’t get Hiddink any contract beyond the end of this season.
Third time lucky: They say, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try again.’ Guardiola has previously turned down the opportunity to become the manager at Chelsea, on at least two occasions, despite Roman Abramovich’s attempts to hire him. The Russian billionaire as a businessman knows too well the fact that he needs to put in a fight if he wants to succeed; after all, he is a known admirer of good football to the eye as Pep built at Barcelona.
The London bait: The love of London can also sway the tide in the favour of Chelsea as a London club since his two competitors; the Manchester teams are well situated miles away from the cosmopolitan life he yearns for. Could it be mere coincidence that reports emerged from the Guardiola camp suggesting he was keen to make a move to a London club just at a time when Mourinho appeared to be on the brink of the sack at Chelsea last month? Well it looked an Arsenal or Chelsea game, but the Gunners are not in the picture now and the Blues might want to take it all.
Payback time: Mourinho made Guardiola’s final year as Barcelona manager a miserable one as his Real Madrid side took away the Spanish title and it is safe to assume that Guardiola would doubtless see his takeover of Chelsea as a sweet payback time considering the deep-rooted hatred existing between the legend from Barcelona and the ‘happy one’ who took over at Real Madrid on a mission to taint Guardiola’s laurels.
However, in all these, Manchester City could be counting on Guardiola’s excellent working relationship with Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, who are his personal friends at their days at Barcelona. The former Barcelona officials are now occupying the roles of director of football and CEO, respectively, at the Etihad, and no doubt both men could lure him to Manchester City.
But Guardiola observers in Spain talk of the fact that he has disappointed closer associates with last-minute changes of plan in previous times and so a Chelsea option looks likely.