Bayern Munich confirm Pep Guardiola as new manager
Pep Guardiola opts for Bayern Munich over Premier League suitors including Chelsea and Manchester City
Bayern Munich have announced Pep Guardiola as their new manager for next season after the Spaniard agreed a deal to take over the German club until 2016.
Guardiola has been linked with a host of leading European clubs since he stepped down as Barcelona’s most successful manager of all time last summer, including the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
However reports surfaced this week that the Spaniard would take over from Jupp Heynkes at the Allianz Arena when he ends his sabbatical from football at the end of the season.
In a statement on their official website, Bayern confirmed the move for Guardiola after Heynckes told chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge that he intended to retire from football at the end of his contract in the summer.
"We are delighted that we have managed to get Pep Guardiola whom several big clubs wanted and contacted," the former German international said.
"He is one of the most successful trainers in the world and we are sure that not only Bayern Munich but the whole of German football will benefit from what he brings."
Guardiola has forged a reputation as one of the finest managers on the planet thanks to his hugely successful spell at Barcelona, during which he won 14 trophies including La Liga three times and the Champions League twice.
The news of Guardiola's appointment as Bayern boss comes just 24 hours after the club's media director Markus Horwick described rumours of his appointment as "complete rubbish", while some reports claimed his Premier League suitors were still hopeful of luring him to England after he confirmed in an interview with the FA as part of their 150th birthday celebrations his desire to coach there.
Chelsea have tried and failed twice to lure the 41-year-old to Stamford Bridge, the most recent attempt coming after Roberto di Matteo was sacked in November.
The presence of two former Barcelona officials at Manchester City, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, had also given rise to speculation he could replace Roberto Mancini at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has also touted the Spaniard as one of the few managers capable of filling his shoes at Old Trafford when he finally decides to step away from the game.
Guardiola will take over at Bayern, who appear on course to claim the Bundesliga title for the first time in three years having opened up a nine point advantage at the top of the table, on July 1 after Heynckes' contract expires a day earlier.
The 67-year-old, who guided Bayern to the Champions League final last season where they lost to Chelsea on penalties in Munich, is currently in his third, and final, spell with the Bavarian club.