Football: Guardiola declares he wants to manage in the Premier League

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has, for the first time, publicly stated that he wants to manage in the English Premier League.
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has, for the first time, publicly stated that he wants to manage in the English Premier League. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN • Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has, for the first time, publicly stated that he wants to manage in the English Premier League since announcing he will leave the German Bundesliga giants at the end of the season.

"I want to coach in England," the 44-year-old Spaniard told a press conference yesterday, before adding that he "has no new club yet".

His departure at the end of his third season in Bavaria and his replacement by Italian Carlo Ancelotti were announced by the club on Dec 20.

The former Barcelona player-turned-coach has since been heavily linked with Chelsea after Jose Mourinho was sacked, and also with Manchester City, whose own manager, Manuel Pellegrini, is under contract only until 2017.

Manchester United have yet to be ruled out of the race for the world's most sought-after manager even though they could turn to a "Guardiola" of their own in Ryan Giggs.

Under-fire manager Louis van Gaal is expected to remain at Old Trafford until former player Giggs is ready to take over, but the Old Trafford hierarchy is believed to be monitoring the situation.

"I have this possibility to go to England. It's the right time," said Guardiola. "I'm still young and I need new challenges. I haven't had offers yet, I can't say anything more for the moment."

The Spaniard added that he would discuss the subject "for the first time" with his players during their winter training camp in Qatar starting today.

In January 2013, he signed a three-year deal, worth a reported €22 million (S$33.7 million), to coach Bayern from July that year.

Under him, Bayern swept five trophies in the last two years, but the most desired, the Champions League, has so far eluded the Spaniard in his time in Germany.

"Carlo is the perfect coach for this team," said Guardiola of his successor. "I'm sure that all will go well for him and for Bayern."

Guardiola also ruled out the prospect of trying to take any Bayern players with him to England's top flight.

"I will not take any players," he said. "They have to stay here."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2016, with the headline 'Guardiola declares he wants to manage in the Premier League'. Print Edition | Subscribe