Talismanic manager Pep Guardiola is destined to manage a club in the English Premier League –but which one?
A massive bidding war is going on between several top clubs and Guardiola’s management team.
Manchester City are the favourites to sign the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager with rumours of hundreds of millions of pounds available in a war chest to attract some of Europe’s top stars.
The names on Guardiola’s hit list are said to include Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique from Barcelona, Paul Pogba from Juventus and David Alaba from Bayern Munich.
Chelsea have wooed Guardiola from afar for some time and owner Roman Abramovich has offered him a salary of millions and a pledge to bank roll spending on new players.
Have Man City landed their man?
Across the capital at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has indicated he is ready to step down and the club are outsiders to land Guardiola.
Arsenal has the money to back Guardiola and play in a style not so different from his teams.
Rumours from inside the game suggest Guardiola has already signed a deal with Manchester City, but no one from the club or Team Guardiola has given the nod that he will take over the manager’s chair from Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season.
Guardiola is still managing Bayern Munich but has told media he intends to step down when his contract expires at the end of the season –and sparked the rush for his signature on a contract by saying he wanted to manage in the Premier League.
Why is Guardiola such a hot property?
Pep Guardiola – real name Josep – played for Barcelona, then moved to Italy for spells with Brescia and Roma, then to Al-Ahli in Qatar and finished his playing career with a short spell at Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico.
He played as a full international for Spain 47 times, scoring five goals.
As a manager he has led Barcelona and Bayern Munich back-to-back league titles and national cup wins.
With Barcelona he also won the Champions League twice.
Guardiola is not only a winner, but his teams win in style, playing slick passing football coupled with aggressive, hard pressing high up the field.
The Premier League clubs after Guardiola are buying into that winning mentality and have the cash to back his big spending.