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Pep talk: Where could Guardiola go next?
Pep Guardiola will be spoilt for choice when he returns to managerial action. Pic: Manu Fernandez/AP

Pep talk: Where could Guardiola go next?


Andy Mitten looks at the possible destinations for the former Barcelona manager when he returns from self-imposed exile.

Chelsea The favourites. West London living will appeal, but Pep Guardiola may not appreciate Roman Abramovich’s penchant for dismissing managers, nor his involvement in decisions at every level of the club.

Anzi Makhachkala The big spending Russians from Dagestan have made Samuel Eto’o the best paid footballer in the world. The Dutch coach Guus Hiddink is exceptionally well paid. Guardiola would lose respect and be tarred a mercenary if he went there.

Manchester United Guardiola’s favourite, but Sir Alex Ferguson continues to excel, shows no sign of slowing down and relinquishing the position he has held at Old Trafford for 26 years.

Manchester City A chance to work with former colleagues, to recreate the Mediterranean magic in Manchester. City have the money, if not the history or kudos of the other giants.

AC Milan Guardiola has been in awe of Milan since he played in the 1994 European Cup, when Milan destroyed Barcelona 4-0. Loves the idea of taking Milan back to the top of the European tree.

Arsenal The big London club who, when they are not selling their best players to Barcelona, like to play like the Catalans. Arsene Wenger seems a permanent fixture, the likelihood of a first trophy since 2005 is less secure.

Stoke City Unlikely, but Guardiola is a pottery enthusiast and his wife has long compared Burslem with Barcelona. If he could change Stoke from a direct mid-table team to league champions then he will be hailed as the greatest coach ever. Could he do it for Stoke on a wet Wednesday night? Unlikely given Tony Pulis’s status as a living legend in the Potteries.

Barcelona Do not rule out a return to where he is loved and where he is from. Not lifting either the Primera Liga or the Champions League constitutes failure, but his replacement and former sidekick Tito Vilanova has got off to a great start and Barca are strong favourites to win the Primera Liga.

Read Andy Mitten's in depth feature on Guardiola's break from football here.