There have been reports today suggesting that Barcelona Pep Guardiola is leaving the door open for a move to Chelsea despite his previous plans to take a one-year sabbatical away from the game to recharge his batteries.
It’s thought that Guardiola is Roman Abramovich’s preferred choice to take the helm at Stamford Bridge and has been chasing the 41-year-old for some time. There was even rumours that Chelsea’s Russian owner had talks with Pep back in February with a view to hire Guardiola to take over from Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked in March and succeeded by Roberto Di Matteo.
Ahead of tonight’s Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilao, Guardiola said:
“I will receive all calls with pleasure, but for the next [few] months I have to recharge my batteries and my mind.
“I will be ready [to return] if one club wants me and seduces me.”
It seems as though many, including talkSPORT, have interpreted to meaning that Guardiola is willing to abandon his plan to take a year away from the game and persuaded to take charge at a new club should the offer suit him. Whilst it’s not beyond Abramovich to tempt Pep to Stamford Bridge to manager Chelsea, he said he wants to take ‘months’ off and not a month. This time-frame would not suit the Blues who will be looking to appoint a manager as soon as possible.
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague also believes that Guardiola is still keen to take his sabbatical amid the reports linking him to Chelsea (listen here).
The other theory, which seems more likely, is that current interim boss Di Matteo will be offered a short-term contract and the club will try again for Guardiola next summer. But I see this as being slightly disrespectful toward Di Matteo as he has done a great job for the club and deserves to know where his future lies one way or another, but I do understand the concerns the board have over his league form.
Despite winning three La Liga titles and two Champions League not all Chelsea fans are convinced by Guardiola as some argue that his success is more to do with his circumstance than his ability. At Barcelona he has had some of the world’s best players at his disposal, including Lionel Messi, so it’s easy to see why this may have made his job easier.
However, he is a big part of the success that they’ve had and has been first class when it comes to nurturing young players and establishing then as first team talents. Whether or not he could do this elsewhere remains to be seen but he’ll have to learn fast about English football should he make the move to the Premier League. But the man is no fool and has huge respect for English football.
I don’t believe we’ll see Guardiola at Stamford Bridge this summer, but what do you think? Have your say in the comments section below