Pep Guardiola had already given his word to Bayern Munich that he would become their next manager before Roman Abramovich sacked Roberto di Matteo as Chelsea boss, it has been claimed.
Abramovich controversially gave Di Matteo the chop on November, before installing Rafael Benitez on an interim basis with the hope of convincing Guardiola to join Chelsea in the summer.
But, according to the Daily Mail, Guardiola had at this point already begun a course in German lessons having told Bayern Munich that he would succeed Jupp Heynckes at the Allianz Arena in July.
Guardiola reportedly booked his first lesson only days before Di Matteo was relieved of his duties at Chelsea, after informing Bayern chiefs verbally that Munich would be his next destination.
Chelsea, had they made a formal approach for Guardiola, are likely to have offered the former Barcelona manager a significantly better salary package were he to move to Stamford Bridge.
But Guardiola was sold on the Bayern philosophy says the club's chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, with the Catalan joining the Bundesliga leaders for football and not financial reasons.
"If it were purely down to money, then Bayern would have had no chance," he said at a press conference confirming the appointment.