Pep Guardiola Returns To The World Football Stage As Bayern Munich Coach In '13-14
Bundesliga club Bayern Munich has appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach for three years starting July 1. The club's current head coach Jupp Heynckes has decided to retire when his current contract expires on June 30. Heynckes, who had already indicated to Bayern Chair Karl-Heinz Rummenigge prior to Christmas that he was not inclined to extend his contract with the club beyond the expiration date of June 30, but would rather end his coaching career, officially confirmed the decision on Wednesday. Rummenigge said, "We are delighted we’ve succeeded in appointing leading coach Pep Guardiola, who has been pursued and contacted by many big-name clubs, for FC Bayern. Pep Guardiola is one of the most successful coaches in the world, and we’re certain he will add great flair to both FC Bayern and German football. We're looking forward to the partnership from July 2013" (Bayern Munich). In Munich, Draxler & Straten reported Guardiola "is supposed to be similarly successful as he was with ex-club FC Barcelona." In four years with the Catalonia club, Guardiola won 14 titles including the '09 and '11 Champions League. The 41-year-old "left Barcelona in the summer of '12 and took a year off" (BILD, 1/16). The EFE reported Guardiola's agent José Maria Orobitg revealed the contract was signed before Christmas. Orobitg: "The signature was made around Christmas. I don't recall which day exactly, but it was around December 20." He added, "Bayern wasn't the club that offered the most money. Guardiola chose the club for its organization, for the potential he sees and for the players" (EFE, 1/16).
PEP SNUBS PREMIER LEAGUE: In London, Brian Lee reported Guardiola "has snubbed a move to the Premier League." Guardiola "has been linked with Manchester rivals United and City as well as European champions Chelsea since taking a break from the game at the end of last season." Guardiola "was the most sought-after coach in the business after creating arguably the best club side in the world of Catalonia" (DAILY MAIL, 1/16). The London EVENING STANDARD wrote "the news will disappoint Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich, who had hoped to lure Guardiola to Stamford Bridge and was looking to offer a salary worth" £15M ($24M) a year to convince him to move to west London (EVENING STANDARD, 1/16).