(Pep responds with a well-known gesture when asked why he would want to coach Manchester City!)

The leading candidates, in no particular order, are:

Chelsea – Guus Hiddink

Having fired Jose Mourinho for being unable to get the same players to do the same things for two years running, Roman Abramovich has appointed Guus Hiddink until the end of the season.

Now, it could be that Guus does very well and gets Chelsea into the top four, wins the FA Cup, the Champions League and becomes fluent in Russian so he can tell Roman all about it. It will matter not a jot should Guardiola decide that his future lies in West London. This being the case, Hiddink will be jettisoned quicker than a human cannonball, allowing him to retire and spend his days fishing in the flatness of Holland.

Guardiola will not, however, decide that his future lies in West London.

Arsenal – Arsene Wenger

Now in his twentieth year at Arsenal, there will be some gooners who are secretly hoping that it is his last. They want him booted upstairs in some kind of director role and they would absolutely love it, Kevin Keegan-style, if he was replaced by Pep Guardiola.

This is all a nice little theory but it has one obvious flaw. It won’t happen!

Firstly, if Wenger wins the title. he will immediately assume that he is justified in continuing in the job. If he doesn’t win the title he will immediately assume that he is justified in continuing in the job. That is what stubborn men do and stubborn is what Arsene Wenger is.

Secondly, to my limited and inferior knowledge, Guardiola doesn’t want to go to the Emirates unless it is as manager of the away team.

Manchester United – Louis van Gaal

In the not too distant past this is where I would have expected Guardiola to pitch up. The problem is that times have changed.

Ideally, he should have replaced Sir Alex Ferguson. He would have been given longer than Moyes for the simple reason that he would have been more successful than Moyes. The sacking of the former Everton man clouded the issue. By this time Guardiola was strutting his stuff in Munich and Louis van Gaal was the obvious and available choice once it was decided that Jose Mourinho wasn’t.

This is where, as usual with United, it gets complicated. Van Gaal is performing no better than Moyes did. In fact, in the Champion’s League, his record is worse. He has spent almost four times as much as Moyes. Will Woodward sack him? No! Would Woodward sack him if Guardiola were prepared to take over? No!

This is because it was Woodward who championed van Gaal and, by sacking him, he would be admitting failure and would also have to go. This situation alone should be enough for Woodward to be returned to the depths of the Old Trafford marketing department where he can make deals with obscure Chinese noodle companies to his heart’s content.

Manchester City – Manuel Pellegrini

Otherwise known as “the next destination of Josep Guardiola Sala”. It has to be one of the worst kept secrets ever and Pep saying he has signed nothing anywhere yet is not fooling anyone, except maybe Ed Woodward.

All the pieces fall into place at the Etihad.

Sheikh Mansour employed, (some would say poached), Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain from Barcelona. The thinking behind this was twofold. One was to get City running in a similar way to the most successful club side in the world. The second was to entice Pep Guardiola to become manager someday. They even told Manuel Pellegrini as he was signing his new contract.

They have already succeeded in phase one. City may not be anything like as successful as Barcelona yet, but they are run along similar lines. Phase two will be complete by the start of next season.

For anybody thinking that the “lure of London” will be too great for Guardiola to ignore, here’s a couple of pointers on that score.

He doesn’t generally work in capital cities. Barcelona and Munich are big but not capitals. He even spent his sabbatical in New York, not Washington. On that basis alone Manchester is a more likely destination. There are also the reasons I outlined in a previous article, which can be found here, and with which no less a light than Louis van Gaal agrees.


  1. RedMe says:

    Guardiola’s previous relationship with Begiristain meant that he was always going to take the job at City even if Manchester United is a club with more history and succes than City. It was Begiristain who gave him the job at Barcelona and they are great friends. No way is he going to London.


  2. Brian says:

    Um, he was at Barca because he was a former player. He was at Bayern because he doesn’t like capitals? I guess Berlin has a relevant side ? Come on. London less likely for your previous reasons, not because he doesn’t do capitals.


    • Thanks for the comment Brian. You’re spot on, it has nothing to do with him not liking capital cities, he goes where the big clubs are. It was a tongue-in-cheek statement because, purely by coincidence, he hasn’t yet worked in a capital.


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