Pep Guardiola will quit as Bayern Munich manager and take over at Manchester City, according to an extraordinary report.
The report emanates via Qatari-owned sports media giant Bein Sports, who claim that the former Barcelona manager has agreed to join City in time for the 2015-16 season.
A tweet on their company’s Arabic language account quoted by the Manchester Evening News reportedly read: “Urgent – sources beIN SPORTS: Manchester City reached a tentative agreement with Bayern Munich coach Guardiola to train the team for next season.”
Former Sky football anchor Richard Keys, who now works extensively in the Middle East, claimed that the story is “true”.
The news, if true, seems almost unthinkable since Guardiola has repeatedly insisted that he will work until next summer when his contract ends in Munich.
Can these reports be believed?
Bein Sports is a huge player in the global sports market, and it is tempting to believe that the company’s roots in the Middle East provide them with an inside line on what might be happening.
Equally, it’s hard to credit such a huge story being leaked, particularly given that City’s money comes from Abu Dhabi rather than Qatar.
Furthermore, the report emerges a suspicious few days before Bayern’s critical Champions League semi-final second leg against Qatar-sponsored Barcelona.
Even if such suspicions of skulduggery are unfounded the timing seems strange. With his hopes of a treble dashed by Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal, and almost certainly ruined following a the first-leg demolition by Barca, it would seem that Guardiola has unfinished business at Bayern.
Then again, his failure this season might see Bayern happy to show him the door. In addition, the recent internal strife at Bayern – which led to the recent decision of the team doctor of 40 years’ standing to walk out of the club – hints at the sort of unrest which might convince Guardiola to move on.
Story by Ghana/Joy Sports/Gary Al-Smith
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