The weekend has been rife with speculation about the next move of Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola. On Saturday, in the Daily Telegraph, Guardiola was strongly rumored to favor Manchester United as his next managerial destination, according to sources associated with the Bavarian club.
Today, however, in an apparent U-turn, Guardiola has suggested that he is happy in Munich and will consider renewing his existing contract, due to expire next summer. Speaking about life in the city with German tabloid Bild, the Bayern coach said “The town is crazy. I love it. I am very satisfied, my family too.” Asked to what extent family factors would influence his decision, Guardiola replied “Yes, it would be a big reason.”
The 44 year-old Catalan, whose movements have always been difficult to predict, was believed to favor the club currently managed by Dutchman Louis van Gaal, whose current contract has one season to run. Manchester United, it is suggested, will not baulk at the $10.5 million contractual payoff due to van Gaal if the club dispense with his services at the end of the season and install Guardiola as his successor.
Guardiola, whose current contract with the Munich club expires next summer, is thought by some to want a move away from the Bundesliga and the opportunity to realize a professional ambition to manage in England’s Premier League.
This is not the first time that Guardiola has been mentioned in connection with the Manchester United job. During his 2012/13 sabbatical spent in New York, Guardiola was approached by Sir Alex Ferguson about the possibility of his succeeding him at United. Ferguson’s wooing came to nothing on that occasion, however, as Guardiola signed a three-season deal with Bayern Munich soon after. Now, though, it is rumored that his wish is to manage in the red half of Manchester, clearly dispelling rumors associating him with the club’s Abu Dhabi United Group-owned rivals Manchester City.