Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
While it may seem really strange to replace Roberto Di Matteo with the man whom the Italian just owned in the Champions League semi finals, there's actually quite a strong chance of that happening.
This semi final defeat definitely doesn't mask the incredible achievements of Guardiola at Barcelona: in three years, he's won two Champions League crowns (and became the youngest manager ever to do so), three domestic titles and a huge array of cup competitions, including a Copa Del Rey and the Club World Cup. In conquering the trophy cabinets he's also conquered the possession approach to the game, with this Barcelona team near-perfecting an extremely difficult style of play under his leadership. In short, Guardiola's a fantastic manager, and given Abramovich's penchant for young managers and attractive football, should the Spaniard become available, he would definitely fit Roman's bill.
Guardiola has a very reasonable policy of only signing one year contracts - a model Chelsea could do well to look at, honestly - so every year there's a bit of debate about whether Pep will sign on for another year. This year was no different, and today, we got a very interesting tweet from the reliable Guillem Balague...
According to sources in Barcelona, Pep will announce tomorrow if he stays or goes. Club fear he might announce his departure. Only Pep knows— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) April 26, 2012
That's an interesting piece of news, to say the least. My Spanish isn't great but I've managed to track the sources down, and it seems that's the Mundo Deportivo carrying the rumours, and they're also claiming that the decision was made during a three hour meeting with president Sandro Rosell today, and that the players will be first to be told of the final decision.
So, possible Pep. This is a big development for football - it means there's an extremely talented manager on the market. Chelsea may feel entitled to Guardiola, as they are the only team he has failed to beat during his time at Barcelona, but they won't be alone in wanting his signature. Of course, that depends on whether he actually wants to keep managing. Our source Balague is also tweeting that if Guardiola decides to go, it would be on a sabbatical away from football.
All in all, curious news indeed.
Ironically, the Sydney FC job is vacant at the moment, and they have a press conference scheduled for tomorrow. Coincidence? I think not.