PEP GUARDIOLA says he is leaving Bayern Munich to manage in England.
The former Barcelona boss recently announced he would not extend his contract in Germany when it expires at the end of this season.
Guardiola, 44, has been linked with Premier League clubs Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
“I want to experience a new city and I want to work in England,” he said. “I have several offers from England but I haven’t signed anything yet.”
He added: “I have an opportunity to work in England.
“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.”
Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had suggested Guardiola already knew which club he would be joining next season.
But yesterday the Spaniard said: “I haven’t decided on a new club yet.”
Former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, 56, is taking over at Bayern, with Guardiola describing the Italian as a “perfect choice”
It is almost inconceivable the most coveted coaching name in world football will not have been discussed as United plan for the future. Guardiola was considered when Sir Alex Ferguson left but he never returned their call.
He would be the dream choice at Old Trafford, but there is the lingering belief he is destined to join old Nou Camp cohorts Txiki Begiristain – Manchester City’s director of football – and the club’s chief executive Ferran Soriano.
United may still hold appeal but would the club make the call knowing they might end up looking like they have been snubbed for their neighbours?
The clamour among supporters for Louis van Gaal to be sacked before the end of his three-year deal and replaced with an immediately available Jose Mourinho has subsided somewhat with Saturday’s win over Swansea, giving United more time to weigh up their next move.
The Manchester City job appears to have had Guardiola’s name on it for years – with the pieces seemingly put in place for his arrival at the Etihad. All it needs is the nod from Guardiola himself.
Begiristain and Soriano are already in place and ready to welcome the man they worked with to bring such success to Barcelona. Guardiola’s arrival would complete the managerial infrastructure you suspect has been the long-held dream to match the fierce ambition of City’s Abu Dhabi owners.
Guardiola may yet be diverted off course by offers from elsewhere – perhaps Manchester United or even Chelsea – but all the smart money is on that dream ticket finally being in place at the Etihad at the start of next season.
Guardiola has long been Roman Abramovich’s dream choice to manage Chelsea and it seems the Russian owner would be prepared to pay any price to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
However, the Catalan has remained tantalisingly out of reach, perhaps put off by the revolving door for managers at Chelsea and Abramovich’s lack of patience when results go wrong.
Guardiola and Chelsea has never seemed a natural fit, despite the perfect London location, and it would take all of Abramovich’s pounds and powers of persuasion to make a difference as he searches for a successor to Mourinho.
It seems the overall package is key to Guardiola, not just finance, so Abramovich may be destined to miss out once more.
It may seem an unlikely scenario, but an Arsenal Premier League and Champions League double this season could usher in the moment that sees Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger move upstairs, potentially paving the way for Guardiola to take on a London club that is built almost in tribute to his own footballing principles.
And if Arsenal fail to win anything, then maybe it might also be time for Wenger to ponder another role at the club he has served so brilliantly.
In many respects, Arsenal is the perfect fit for Guardiola. It has a 60,000-capacity stadium at a club that is fixed on a sound financial footing. It has the London location that would suit Guardiola and the perfect infrastructure in terms of training facilities and huge transfer funds available to spend.
If the situation arose, might not Guardiola prefer Arsenal ahead of all the other English options? It is the perfect job for any manager with fierce ambition and a desire for success. — BBC Sport