It was on Friday announced Pep Guardiola is to leave Barcelona at the end of the season after deciding he does not want to renew his rolling one-year contract. The classy Catalan, at an emotional press conference, has explained his reasons for deciding the time is right to quit Camp Nou. But what now for Guardiola?
Here Into The Top Corner looks at his possible destinations.
Arsene Wenger’s contract comes to an end in the summer of 2014. He has been one of the most loyal and successful manager ever to have managed in the English game. In the past he has turned down many lucrative offers from other clubs because of his love towards Arsenal and belief in the brand of football the team plays. Arsenal’s style is without doubt the closest to Barcelona’s and with both Wenger and Guardiola’s very similar to each other, it would be a very smooth transition to bring in the Spaniard. If Wenger moves upstairs to become Director of Football, the potential relationship with Guardiola would be one that every other club in the word would envy.
SkyBet Odds – 9/4
This is surely not a match made in heaven given the past record of Chelsea in handling their managers. Under Abramovich era, a nine-year spell has been filled with knee-jerk reactions and countless attempts at quick fixes. But he might still try to tempt him with all the money but this tactic might not work with the Spaniard. Guardiola is a man who believes in long-term goals and giving chance to young players, and surely this strategy does not go hand in hand with Chelsea. And keeping in mind that Pep is going to take a sabbatical for at least an year, that would also work against Chelsea as the Russian wants his man now, rather than in a year’s time.
SkyBet Odds – 11/4
Fabio Capello’s shock resignation in February after the John Terry saga threw England’s final preparations for Euro 2012 into chaos. The FA will have been confident of naming a successor by now but that has not materialised. Harry Redknapp still remains the favourite to land the job but with the big dip in form of Tottenham over the last two months and the rise of Alan Pardew at Newcastle, has given the FA something to think about. The FA have made clear that they will be announcing a permanent manager towards end of the season and with Guardiola now available they might just be tempted to try and get the Spaniard. The England job is still one of the most prestigious in football and with Guardiola needing a break from football, what better way than to take a less demanding international job.
SkyBet Odds – 4/1
With each passing season, the debate surrounding who will replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford becomes more intense and intriguing. Will it be Jose Mourinho or David Moyes or Pep Guardiola? No on really knows but one man who will have a major say on that decision is surely Fergie himself. The ideal thing for United and their fans will be to move Fergie up to a directorial position and do everything to bring Guardiola in. The Scot will no doubt decide his own future but if Guardiola sticks to his promise of taking a year out of the game, the Spaniard could well be in line to take over at Old Trafford for the 2013/14 season.
SkyBet Odds – 6/1
This will surely be a match made in heaven for the blue half of Manchester. Though it is expected that whatever be the outcome of the Premier League title race, Roberto Mancini will remain as City’s manager next season. But should he fail in his quest, their mega-rich Arab owners may hound Guardiola to take over. And keeping in mind City’s craving for silverware and limitless cash in the offering, Guardiola would surely want to manage a team that wants to dominate world football.
SkyBet Odds – 8/1
Which his achievements at Barcelona, its obvious that every top club will be interest in him and so will be the Reds from Merseyside. With Liverpool having one of the their worst season’s in the Premier League, Guardiola could well be the man to bring back old glory days. Many people may scoff the suggestion but the Spaniard has already won everything possible in the modern game, so going to other moneybags club that can easily win trophies doesn’t seem much of a challenge. At Liverpool, he could truly build something from the ground up and create a lasting dynasty, something that may be appalling to the Spaniard.
SkyBet Odds – 10/1
Inter President Massimo Moratti has long admired and sought Guardiola as his coach after the 2010 European champions fell on tough times following the departure of Jose Mourinho. Moratti would do everything in his power to capture the Catalan and would be prepared to leave interim boss Andrea Stramaccioni in charge for the foreseeable future until Guardiola made his mind up. Guardiola knows a lot about the Serie A having played at Brescia.
SkyBet Odds – 14/1
Club owner Silvio Berlusconi likes his glamour signings and bringing in Guardiola would appeal to him especially if it put Inter’s nose out of joint. Massimiliano Allegri did well to win Serie A with Milan last term but they look like being beaten to the title by Juventus this season and a bigger name would go down well among some supporters.
SkyBet Odds – 14/1
Spurs have been the most entertaining side in the Premier League this season and with their Harry Redknapp the favourite to be named the new England boss, Tottenham could well be managerless at the end of the season. With Guardiola available, the Spurs chairman could very tempted to bring in the Catalan and give him the job. Spurs have a very talented team with the likes of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart, Scott Parker etc and with Guardiola in charge plus some new players coming in in during the transfer window, the Lilllywhites could well be world beaters.
SkyBet Odds – 16/1
If Vicente Del Bosque leads Spain to a successful defence of their Euro title in June and July to go with their World Cup triumph, he could decide to leave, opening the door for Guardiola. Being Spain boss would not bring the daily pressure of club coaching and will suit him the most because most of the Barcelona players make the Spanish national side. But Guardiola is a proud Catalan and the national job might not appeal at such a young managerial age.
SkyBet Odds – 25/1
Guardiola had a spell as a player with Al Ahli in Doha so has contacts in the Gulf state and could be richly rewarded leading either a club side or the national side ahead of their hosting of the 2022 World Cup. A stress-free time in Qatar in the short-term could increase his bank balance and then give the Qataris time to see how Carlo Ancelotti does at Pari St Germain which they own. Paris might then appeal to Guardiola given the immense transfer funds in an easier league and the personal wealth available.
SkyBet Odds – 50/1