Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to launch an ambitious attempt to bring Pep Guardiola to Stamford Bridge in what will be his second approach for the Spanish manager.
According to the Sun, the Russian has been alerted by the widespread reports that Guardiola has rejected a contract from Bayern Munich in favour of leaving at the end of the season.
It could be perfect timing for Chelsea as it appears Jose Mourinho's second stint at Stamford Bridge is coming to an end after a disastrous start to the season.
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Guus Hiddink has reportedly been approached with regards to another short-term stint – identical to the one he impressively fulfilled in 2009 – but he is unlikely to stay beyond the current season.
That will leave Chelsea in need of a new manager in the summer and, as luck would have it, the very best of them is expected to be looking for a new job.
Name your price
Abramovich has always dreamed of creating a 'Barcelona in blue shirts' and has tried to bring Guardiola to the Bridge in that past to make it a reality.
Then, in 2012, the lure of Bayern Munich was too great, but the billionaire oligarch will pull out all the stops this time around. He will tell Guardiola to name his price, but will struggle to match another offer from the Premier League.
City's incredible offer
However, Manchester City believe they are leading the chase and, as reports would have us believe, have been buttering Guardiola up for a significant amount of time already.
Indeed, they brought Barcelona's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, to the Etihad with his primary aim to eventually coax Guardiola to the blue side of Manchester.
They themselves have rich benefactors who are ready to give Guardiola an incredible deal with £84million over four years. That works out at an incredible £400,000-a-week.
Can Abramovich, who is funding Chelsea's £600m stadium expansion from his own pocket, match that?
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