Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says Pep Guardiola told him he was going to leave the club at the Christmas party two weeks ago.
Guardiola’s departure at the end of his contract in June was confirmed by the Bavarian club on Sunday, although the announcement hardly came as a surprise with speculation rife that the Spaniard would be leaving.
And Rummenigge has revealed he knew what was coming weeks ago, telling Germany’s Bild newspaper: “He came over to me two weeks ago at our Christmas party and told me that he was looking for a new challenge.
“He was almost apologetic. I’m not disappointed in him.”
Although confirmation of Guardiola’s decision to leave did not come until this month, Rummenigge believes he had spotted signs as early as the summer, but did not really want to believe them.
“You could read between the lines and that was something that we should have interpreted,” Rummenigge said. “We did take note of it, but we just wanted to give him time to make up his mind in peace.”
While he did that, Bayern already worked on a plan b, which was an approach for Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian will take Guardiola’s place on the Bayern bench from next season and Rummenigge is delighted with his club’s capture.
“Carlo Ancelotti has had success everywhere,” he said. “He’s won the Champions League three times and that remains a record to this day, and he’s got quality of course.
“He fits in here, it’s as simple as that.”
Rummenigge also dismissed reports that Guardiola had decided to leave due to disputes with the club’s medical team or director of sport Matthias Sammer.
“There has always been this speculation, that Sammer and Pep had problems, but it’s all rubbish,” added Rummenigge.