Pep Guardiola wants Premier League job – who will he pick?
Guardiola and Mourinho turn FA anniversary into Premier League recruitment fair
THE 150th anniversary of the Football Association appears to be turning into a recruitment fair for Europe's best managers after Pep Guardiola joined Jose Mourinho in using his goodwill message to the FA to reveal that he wants to work in the Premier League.
The former Barcelona boss, who is currently on a one-year sabbatical from the game, said: "As a player, I couldn't realise my dream to play [in England]. But I hope, in the future, I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there and feel the experience of all the coaches and players that have been there."
His message struck a similar note to the one recorded by former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, a day earlier. And, according to the Daily Mail, Guardiola's comments are "sure to alert the biggest clubs in the country".
The Spaniard's plans had been unclear since he quit the Camp Nou at the end of last season, and he is currently living in New York. But earlier this month he indicated he was ready to return to management next season and now it looks as though an English club would be his first choice.
In the seven months since he became a free agent the 41-year-old has been linked with most of the Premier League's big guns. But according to The Times there are two teams in particular that will have taken notice and Guardiola's message "will unsettle Roberto Mancini at Manchester City and Rafael Benítez at Chelsea".
Two former Barcelona executives who worked with Guardiola, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, now have behind the scenes roles at Manchester City and Chelsea have long hankered after appointing the 41-year-old, who won 14 trophies in four seasons with the Catalan club.
"Roman Abramovich has made it a near-obsession to bring Guardiola to Chelsea," notes The Guardian, which agrees that he could also be a target for Manchester City. But the paper adds that there could be other suitors. "[Manchester] United, meanwhile, have Guardiola at the top of their wish-list to replace Sir Alex Ferguson when the long-serving manager retires," it reports.
Likewise Arsenal, says the Daily Telegraph, which describes Guardiola as the "leading candidate" for the Gunners job, should Wenger decide to leave.