Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has dashed the hopes of Chelsea and Manchester City by signing a three-year deal to take over as coach of Bayern Munich.

Current boss Jupp Heynckes will step down at the end of this season, following a two-hour meeting with Bayern bosses on Wednesday lunchtime and board member Karl-Heinz Rummenigge made it clear his club’s coup was at the expense of some prominent rivals, with Chelsea and City understood to be among them.

It was revealed last month that Bayern had emerged as serious candidates for Guardiola and Rummenigge confirmed on the club's official website that the former Barcelona manager is returning to football in the Bundesliga.

Heynckes held talks with with Rummenigge and fellow board member Uli Hoeness at 1.30pm local time in Munich and was heading into retirement when he emerged from the meeting two hours later.

The veteran coach had already indicated he was happy to step aside in favour of Guardiola and he put the finishing touches to the handover of power during the discussions.
It is understood Heynckes first told Bayern bosses over the Christmas period that, at 67, he was ready to make this his last season in charge. 

Calling time: Jupp Heynckes will retire as Bayern Munich boss in the summer

‘We have to accept and respect the decision of Jupp Heynckes and we are happy to be able to appoint in his place such a football expert as pep Guardiola, especially as he received offers from a lot of famous clubs,' said Rummenigge.

'He is one of football’s most successful coaches, and we are delighted he will be in charge of our team, on a contract that will run until June, 2016.’

Bayern legend Franz Beckenbauer tweeted: 'Jupp is a great coach, but if he wants to leave by the end of the season, Pep Guardiola is the best decision. Congratulations@FCBayern!'

Rummenigge concentrated all his efforts on convincing Guardiola that the Allianz Arena was the ideal setting for relaunching his managerial career after a 12-month sabbatical.

His imminent arrival in Munich leaves City and Chelsea pondering their next moves.
Roberto Mancini was coming under pressure at the Etihad Stadium after growing suggestions of player unrest and another abject failure in the Champions League, where they failed to get out of their group for the second season in succession.

Chelsea’s pursuit of Guardiola was such that Rafa Benitez was only granted the title of interim manager when he succeeded Roberto Di Matteo earlier this season.

With prize target Guardiola now Bayern-bound on a three-year deal, both Mancini and Benitez now appear to have the chance to win over their boardroom doubters.

Guardiola, who celebrates his 42nd birthday on Friday, took charge of Barcelona - for whom he played for 11 years with distinction - in 2008 and won 14 major trophies while in charge at the Nou Camp.

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