Pep Guardiola is expected to announce he will be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season next week, according to several reports in the German media.
Guardiola’s next job has been the topic of much debate for some time and the rumours of his likely destination will only intensify now that he is expected to announce his departure from the German giants. Bild even claim he has “already sorted out his future”.
Guardiola is one of the most successful and renowned managers in modern day football. At just the age of 44 he has already won an astonishing 20 trophies and counting with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Guardiola’s tactics are very attractive to potential suitors as his teams are disciplined with a high focus on possession and an aggressive pressing style in a 4-3-3 formation while playing a high defensive line with the two full backs pushing high up.
There is no doubt that many of the major clubs across Europe will be chasing Guardiola to become their next manager and the Premier League is a very likely option.
Let’s have a look at the possibilities for when he leaves Bayern Munich.
Manchester City – 4/7
Manchester City are the heavy favourites to claim Guardiola as their next manager despite current manager Manuel Pellegrini being under little pressure. Several media outlets, not just in England, but across Europe have been speculating for the past few months that Guardiola has already agreed a deal to go to the Etihad next season.
In October it was reported that Guardiola had made a ‘verbal agreement’ with Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football and former Barcelona colleague, that he would join City next season. It is a move that would make sense for both parties as the structure is there in place for Guardiola to be a success at the Etihad.
Manchester United – 3/1
A move to United cannot be ruled out yet. Louis van Gaal is under immense pressure at Old Trafford as the fans have expressed their discontent with the lack of progress made under him while the board are said to be concerned about potential dressing room unrest.
Unless results improve, there is a strong possibility that Van Gaal will be gone by the end of the season and Ed Woodward would be foolish not to make a move for Guardiola. According to Spanish football expert Graham Hunter on Guardiola: “If the cards fall his way, his wish is to sample life at Manchester United for a variety of reasons, he’s looked at the Old Trafford atmosphere, the legends and he has felt ‘this is right for me”.
Alex Ferguson admitted he approached Guardiola before about replacing him as United manager but he had already given his word to Bayern Munich. The prestige of managing one of the biggest clubs in the world may give United the edge over City if they were to make a move.
Arsenal – 14/1
There is little chance of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger going their separate ways for a while yet. Arsenal are potentially a perfect match for Guardiola but it is perhaps a case of right club, wrong time.
Chelsea – 4/1
There is no doubt that Chelsea would be very interested in securing Guardiola’s services next season. The two Manchester clubs have been strong favourites but Chelsea may just join them in the race now. Guardiola certainly will not be short of possibilities in the Premier League. Watch this space.
Barcelona – 10/1
Guardiola is a legend at Barcelona for obvious reasons and may return to the Nou Camp in the future but it will not be his next job. Luis Enrique is doing an excellent job at the moment and Guardiola is looking for a new challenge.
PSG – 12/1
PSG can be considered dark horses in the race for Guardiola. They certainly have the financial power and ambition to secure a manager of Guardiola’s ability.
However, the Premier League seems a more likely destination for Guardiola and there is no reason for the French club to part company with Laurent Blanc who is doing great work there.
Other outside, and very unlikely, options:
Juventus – 20/1
Atletico Madrid – 40/1
Roma – 50/1
Real Madrid – 50/1
Liverpool – 80/1
Celtic – 200/1
Newcastle – 300/1
Vincent O’Shea, Pundit Arena