Paul Scholes appears fairly confident that Pep Guardiola will take the Manchester City job once he leaves Bayern Munich.
Having been promoted to the head coach of Barcelona in 2008, Guardiola oversaw perhaps the most glorious period in the club’s history when they won a total of 14 honours during his four-year reign. This included the La Liga title on three occasions, the Copa del Rey twice, and two UEFA Champions League final victories over Manchester United in Rome and at Wembley Stadium.
The Spaniard shocked the footballing world by quitting the Catalan giants, whom he also served as a player, to take a year out of the game at the end of the 2011-12 campaign. In January 2013 it was announced that he would succeed Jupp Heynckes at Bayern Munich, and in his debut season in Germany he led the Allianz Arena club to the league and cup double.
Guardiola is on course to repeat this double again this time round, with his side currently just one win away from retaining the Bundesliga title, whilst they face Borussia Dortmund in the cup semi-final late this month. And he could yet win a third Champions League, although Bayern were beaten 3-1 in their quarter-final first leg tie against Porto in Portugal just last week.
The 44-year-old remains under contract at Bayern until the end of next season, and has always maintained that he will fulfil his deal. Former United star Scholes believes the Spaniard is destined to then replace the under-pressure Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium, even though Jurgen Klopp will be available after confirming he will leave Borussia Dortmund this summer.
“There is no doubt in my mind that he [Klopp] would be a success in English football, the only question is at which club,” he said in his Independent column. “Manchester City is the destination that has been mentioned more than once but all the information that comes back to me in Manchester is that Pep Guardiola will take that job when his contract at Bayern Munich expires in one year’s time.
“Establishing Manchester City as European champions would be bigger than any of the challenges he has faced so far in his career. I accept that when he took over at Barcelona they were a long way from the side that won the 2006 Champions League. In Frank Rijkaard’s last season they finished third, 18 points behind the champions Real Madrid, but even so Guardiola had a lot of the pieces already in place.
“While City have many good players, they have never gone beyond the second round of the Champions League, much less won it. Making them the best side in Europe would be a far more difficult task than doing the same at Barcelona or Bayern Munich, the latter of whom Guardiola took over after they won the Treble. It would not be easy, but then Guardiola is not there to do the small jobs.”
Pellegrini has come under fierce pressure at City this season, despite leading the Blues to the Premier League and League Cup double in his debut campaign in charge. This time round his side have failed to add to their honours list, and although they are still expected to finish in the top-four, failure to do so would almost certainly result in the Chilean coach being axed.
Do you think Guardiola will wind up at Manchester City, or do you think he will sit tight for the job at either Arsenal or Manchester United?