All of Europe’s top clubs will be on alert after reports in Germany suggested that Pep Guardiola may be ready to make a shock departure from Bayern Munich as early as this summer, with a switch to the Premier League tipped to be the most likely outcome.
According to German publication Bild, the 44-year-old was holding a Q&A with Bayern Munich fans in Ingolstadt where he refused to commit his long term future to the Bavarians when asked about his future at the club.
"No matter what happens, I had a great time" - Guardiola
Guardiola’s current contract at the Allianz Arena runs until 2016, but the report suggests he could be willing to walk away from the German champions as early as this summer - a whole year before the deal expires.
“For me it was a great challenge for my wife and children. No matter what happens, I had a great time, I was very happy to be coach at Bayern. It was a dream for me!” he told the Bayern fan club.
Those are hardly words vowing to see out the remainder of his contract and when further pressed on the issue of a new deal, the former Barcelona boss was equally evasive.
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“We still have time to talk about that [contract extension] after the end of the season in the summer. Football is today like that and completely different the next day,” he is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
The Daily Mirror claims that Manchester City are one of the clubs most keen on recruiting the man hailed as the world’s best manager at one during his tenure at Camp Nou. It also claims that a whole host of the biggest Premier League clubs would be interested.
His departure from the Catalan giants was equally surprising in 2012, which came after his side were knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals by Chelsea.
Guardiola would only sign one-year rolling contracts as Barcelona and was open during his time there about not committing too long in advance with any one club, as discontent can set in over time. Fans were upset when the moment arrived, as his 14 trophies in four years in charge made him the most successful manager in club history.
He was unable to make Bayern Munich the first club to defend the Champions League title last season, being knocked out by eventual winners Real Madrid at the semi-final stage. However, he did defend the league and cup trophies won by Jupp Heyenckes in a historic final season in charge.