Belfast Telegraph

Pep Guardiola turned down bigger offers to join Bayern Munich

By Simon Rice

Pep Guardiola turned down better financial offers to accept the job as Bayern Munich manager.

The former Barcelona coach was coveted by a number of clubs, most notably Chelsea.

However, a surprise announcement from Bayern Munich yesterday revealed the Spaniard had opted for a move to Germany.

Club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has since revealed that Guardiola's decision was guided more by his heart than his wallet.

"If it were purely down to money, then Bayern would have had no chance," he said.

Since stepping down as manager of Barcelona after a four year spell that had yielded 14 trophies, Guardiola was a wanted man. Linked with Manchester United and City, as well as PSG and AC Milan, it seemed the 41-year-old had the luxury of picking his next job.

Yet it was at Chelsea where the strongest interest was shown. Owner Roman Abramovich attempted to lure Guardiola to Stamford Bridge last summer, and then again after sacking Roberto Di Matteo earlier this season.

Having been unsuccessful, Rafael Benitez was employed, but only as "interim manager" in a clear indication the current European champions were keeping their options open when the time came for Guardiola to return to management.

Yesterday's announcement was said to have come as a surprise to those in charge at Stamford Bridge, and they will now have to reassess their options.

Rummenigge went on to explain Guardiola's decision: "I think he was impressed with our overall concept," he said.

"Of course he'll be earning a few euros here too, but if finances had been the defining factor, then he would not be coming here on 1 July.

"He was pleased with the way we have established a financial independence."

Rummenigge says Guardiola does not wish to destabilise Bayern's current campaign, in which Jupp Heynckes has guided them nine-points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

"He (Pep) does not want to disturb the work of Jupp Heynckes and this season's work in any way," he said.

"Pep is staying in New York. We don't want any big show, and Pep doesn't want that either.

"We would like to give Jupp, a great man, a great send-off."

The Bayern Munich chairman also indicated that pairing Guardiola with the German giants was a straight forward decision for all concerned.

"Jupp told us that he wanted to end his career," said Rummenigge. "That is when we started to deal with the issue intensively and when we began negotiations with Guardiola.

"He said that he could definitely imagine working in Munich, and we reached an agreement."

The arrival of Guardiola at Bayern is certain to coincide with speculation linking Barcelona's stars with a move to the Bundesliga to join their former coach.

Rummenigge believes attracting talent will be made that bit easier following Guardiola's arrival.

"Of course he is a coach with great charisma and there are players who would love to work with a coach like him."

Belfast Telegraph


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