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Guardiola shuns the Premier League
16 Jan, 2013 6:29 PM GMT
All the speculation about where Pep Guardiola would end up next season is over and for the Premiership, it's a real slap in the face as the Spaniard has chosen Germany as his preferred destination.
Perennial German champions, Bayern Munich have won the race for the most coveted name in football management when they announced that Guardiola will become the club's new coach when current boss, Jupp Heynckes' contract expires this summer.
Heynckes will stay on in his post until the end of this season as a lame duck although his side does top the Bundesliga and remain in the UEFA Champions League. Heynckes will supposedly retire at the end of the season, at which point Guardiola will take over on a deal that runs until June 2016.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern's chief executive, said in a press release: "We are delighted that we have managed to get Pep Guardiola whom several big clubs wanted and contacted. He is one of the most successful trainers in the world and we are sure that not only Bayern Munich but the whole of German football will benefit from what he brings."
This is a move that has stunned many observers as Guardiola himself had expressed a desire to work in the Premier League.
Chelsea and Manchester City were strongly linked with Guardiola. Blues owner Roman Abramovich had signalled his intention to take him to Chelsea by giving Rafael Benítez the title of "interim manager" while City had been loading up their backroom staff with former colleagues of Guardiola.
Guardiola, 41, replaced Frank Rijkaard at Barca in 2008 and during his four years at the Nou Camp he led the club to 13 trophies including two Champions League titles, making him the most successful coach in the club's history.