Reported Manchester United and City target Pep Guardiola says he wants to coach in England

Outgoing Bayern Munich coach tells reporters: “I have several offers from England but I haven’t signed anything yet.”
Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola, attends a press conference after the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hannover 96 and FC Bayern Munich in Hannover, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. Munich defeated Hannover by 1-0. Michael Sohn / AP Photo
Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola, attends a press conference after the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hannover 96 and FC Bayern Munich in Hannover, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. Munich defeated Hannover by 1-0. Michael Sohn / AP Photo

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola is looking for a new challenge and wants to work in the Premier League, he said on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old Spaniard is leaving the German champions at the end of the season and has been linked with moves to Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

“The reason I’m not staying at Bayern is very simple: I want to coach in England in the Premier League. That’s the only reason I’m not extending my contract,” Guardiola said Tuesday. “I’m young enough. I’m 44-years-old. I want a new challenge.”

Having opted not to extend his three-year contract at Bayern, Guardiola expressed his thanks to Bayern and its chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge “because I know the club wanted to keep me, but at this stage in my career I need a new challenge. That’s it, nothing more.”

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“When I have a new club, the club will communicate that. At the moment, I can’t say anything else because nothing is fixed.”

Guardiola, who took over Jupp Heynckes’ treble-winning side in 2013, led Bayern to the Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup that same year, a German league and cup double in 2014, and another Bundesliga title in 2015. The side set a host of records in that time.

The former Barcelona player and coach has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City but he said nothing had been decided yet.

“I have different offers but I haven’t decided yet,” Guardiola said. “If I had signed a contract with a club then the club would communicate that. I have nothing signed yet so I can’t say anything about that.”

Guardiola acknowledged that the move was “a risk for me. The club gave me an exceptional squad. It would be possible to stay here and win more” but “I think it’s the right time for this new challenge. It’s only my second experience as coach. I need new challenges, new experiences. Three years is enough (at Bayern). New players, new stadium, new restaurants, that’s what I want. That’s the reason, the only reason that I made that choice.”

Guardiola paid tribute to his players at Bayern and added, “Thomas Mueller said it perfectly: `Regardless of the coach, we want to win.’ I have no doubt that they will do the best for themselves, for the club, for this period of time (the rest of the season).”

The Champions League, which has so far eluded Guardiola at Bayern, remains his main priority for this season, and he praised the club’s decision to appoint former Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti as his replacement.

Guardiola said the Italian was “perfect for the club” and “I wish will lots of luck and want to leave him a brilliant team. He’ll be coaching the best team possible. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did perfectly. Coach leaves, coach arrives. The most important thing is stability.”

Guardiola said of his time in Munich: “I’ll be just a small part of the great history of this club.”

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Published: January 5, 2016 04:00 AM

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