So Pep Guardiola has confirmed that his next job is in England.
And the British media are falling over themselves in excitement.
And if that wasn’t enough he hasn’t actually declared which team that is yet, and has also stated that he hasn’t signed anything with any team at this moment in time.
That has made the media speculate that his final destination could be any of the Top 4 sides in England, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Let’s go through the different options Pep is “perceived” to have:
Team: Manchester City
Chances of Arriving: 95%
This is his most likely destination, and although nothing has been signed or confirmed yet, this is most likely down to the fact that they don’t want to disrespect Manuel Pellegrini who is concentrating on trying to achieve European and domestic success this season.
Manchester City have Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain already at the club and they know Guardiola extremely well from their days at Barcelona. Everything is in place for Pep – a strong squad with talented attacking players, no shortage of money in the transfer market, excellent facilities and infrastructure – and an impressive stadium with a big capacity (yes the atmosphere can be awful but he doesn’t know that).
Of course he’s officially going to say he’s not sure where he’ll end up at the moment because there’s still 5 months of the season to go and the last thing Manchester City want is something to destabilise their season.
I would say Guardiola is a dead cert to end up at Manchester City.
Team: Manchester United
Chances of Arriving: 10%
The media are pointing to a couple of poor seasons under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal as reasons why Manchester United would be desperate to bring in the talented coach and I’m sure they would love Guardiola at the club – but I can’t see it happening myself.
Yes, they have the history and are undoubtedly one of the biggest teams in English football, but I just see Pep Guardiola looking at that squad and thinking it needs too much work. At Barcelona, he already inherited a fantastic group of players and the same thing happened at Bayern Munich. Manchester United’s squad needs a massive overhaul and with Guardiola only staying at a club for 2/3 seasons (much like Mourinho) he wouldn’t be looking for a long term project.
He would be great for United but sadly for them, it’s all pie in the sky I’m afraid.
Chances of Arriving: 20%
For me, the only other real threat to Manchester City is Chelsea. They have the money, they have the location and they have the basis of a good squad.
Roman Abramovich would pretty much had over a blank cheque to get Pep Guardiola at Chelsea and would allow him to strengthen the squad however he wanted. Yes, the current squad is weaker than Manchester City’s and the defence needs a lot of work but it’s nothing a few big signings couldn’t fix.
In terms of location, London is a big factor in a lot of Premier League moves (as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil can testify) and there’s no doubt that Pep and his family would love the London life. But is that enough?
People are saying that Guardiola might be put off by Chelsea’s hire and fire mentality when it comes to managers but that hasn’t put off many of the biggest managerial names in the world, including Jose Mourinho, Carlo…
So you never know…
Chance of Arriving: 5%
It seems like the perfect fit doesn’t it?
Arsenal are in London which would be great for Guardiola, and out of the 4 clubs Arsenal play the most attractive football – and would theoretically be the easiest team to implement his style of play on.
But let’s be realistic for a minute.
If it ever did happen, Guardiola would be under Arsene Wenger’s spotlight as there’s no way the Frenchman would leave the club and would most likely be moved to a Director of Football role.
There would be far too many restrictions under Pep for it to even be a possibility so unfortunately it’s a no go. And with Arsenal’s insistence on continuity and consistency then employing a manager for a 3 to 4 season stint makes no sense.
Also, the problem is the budget Guardiola has to spend. While Arsenal have a lot of money there’s no way they would authorise £150 million plus spending in a single summer. In recent times we’ve spent big (well, big for us anyway) but that’s been over a few years.
Unless Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea end up being taken away by aliens in some sort of intergalactic war and Arsenal are the only viable option remaining, then he won’t be coming to Arsenal.