English Premier League

Pep stays guarded over return

Monday 7th January 2013 16:21

Pep Guardiola: Much speculation over who he will manage next

Pep Guardiola: Much speculation over who he will manage next

Pep Guardiola has announced he wants to return to coaching - but is keeping his future plans close to his chest.

Former Barcelona boss Guardiola, who took a sabbatical from football after four years at the Nou Camp, has been suggested as the man most likely to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and as the next permanent manager at Chelsea.

Guardiola's confirmation that he is now looking to return to the game will spark renewed competition for the services of the man who steered Barcelona to 14 trophies in four seasons.

The 41-year-old told a news conference at the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich: "Yes I would like to come back to coaching. I have been out of coaching for a year and it's what I would like but there is no reason to give any more specific details.

"I don't have a team to go to but I would like to go back to coaching. I have taken a decision to return to coaching but beyond that no decision has been taken."

Asked if he would consider Bayern Munich, who have also been linked with a move for him, Guardiola replied that it would be a "lack of respect" to talk about any team which currently has a coach.

Guardiola, who has been living in New York, said he had kept a close eye on Barca since leaving the club.

He added: "I keep on watching Barcelona on TV and it's a great show, a great team and I'm just a fan."

He also dismissed reports he would coach the Brazil national side at the 2014 World Cup in the South American country - Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed for a second spell in charge last month.

"I think it has to be someone from their own country," he said. "Scolari is one of many world-class coaches from Brazil.

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