Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola pulled out of his pre-match press conference on Friday as speculation escalated that he has decided to leave the club at the end of the season.
Reports in Spain – including in Catalonian newspaper ARA and El Mundo Deportivo – have claimed Guardiola has agreed to take over at Manchester City.
Both reports claim the former Spain midfielder will inform the record Bundesliga champions before Christmas of his decision to leave.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated on Thursday that an announcement would be made regarding Guardiola’s future before the end of the year.
“We will have a talk after the Hannover game (on December 19) and we will announce the result afterwards,” Rummenigge said.
“There is no intention to put back this date. Like we have already said, there will be a decision in 2015.”
Rummenigge added that his club would not fall apart even if Guardiola were to leave next summer.
“Things always move on,” Rummenigge said. “There is no person in the world who becomes irreplaceable at some stage.
“Players come, players go. The same goes for the coach – they come and they go too sooner or later.”
Ahead of the inevitable questions over his future, which Guardiola has been avoiding for months, and which have seemingly been irking him, he chose not to meet the media on Friday ahead of Saturday’s Bundesliga clash with Hertha Berlin.
Bayern stated private reasons were behind his decision not to attend the press conference, with Jerome Boateng fielding reporters’ questions instead.
The current Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has heard the Guardiola link many times before.
City have repeatedly been linked with the former Barcelona boss, and with several former senior Nou Camp officials having moved to the Etihad Stadium it is to be expected that Guardiola should have admirers at the club.
Former Barcelona general manager Ferran Soriano is City’s chief executive, and Txiki Begiristain is director of football having held an equivalent position with the Catalan club.
But Pellegrini vowed to carry on unperturbed, saying on Friday: “I don’t talk about rumours. It is a rumour that we have had for the last two-and-a-half seasons here. There is not a problem about that.”