MUNICH: After months of speculation German champions and mid-season leaders Bayern Munich have confirmed that Pep Guardiola will be succeeded at the season’s end as coach by Carlo Ancelotti writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Guardiola was already heading to Barcelona to spend the Christmas holidays with his parents when Bayern made the announcement that he will leave on the expiry of his contract in June.
Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had been prepare to offer Guardiola a massive pay rise to stay but the 44-year-old had other plans. Manchester City are expected to be his next destination, where he will replace Manuel Pellegrini.
Rummenigge said: “We are grateful to Pep Guardiola for everything he has given our club and hope that we will celebrate this season together many more successes. A very successful coach in his own right, Carlo Ancelotti, will come to Bayern.”
Guardiola arrived in June 2013 as the successor to Jupp Heynckes for Bayern, who had left him as a legacy the first triple of the club’s history. Guardiola has led Bayern to two German championships and a German cup win but not yet the Champions League,
Rummenigge added: “I am convinced that Pep and our team will now work even more intensively from reaching the major sporting goals – especially now it is certain he will leave Bayern.”
Ancelotti, 56, took a sabbatical to undergo back surgery after leaving Real Madrid last June. He worked with great success previously at Juventus, Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain and give real. With both Milan (twice) and Madrid he won the Champions League.
The 56-year-old, whose home with Canadian businesswoman Mariann is in Vancouver, speaks four languages (Italian, French, English and Spanish) but not yet German which is working to learn. He has agreed a three-year contract in Munich.
Guardiola described Ancelotti as “a great man and a great coach.”
Rummenigge described Ancelotti as “calm, balanced professional who can deal with star players and encourages them to play a versatile style of football. That’s what we were looking for and we have found it. We are looking forward to working together.”