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Chelsea is dream job for Guardiola as Pep is attracted by new style at the Bridge

first_imgThe former Barcelona boss plans to return to the game next summer and has made it clear to friends he sees his future at Stamford Bridge.After winning three La Liga titles and two European Cups in four seasons at the Nou Camp, Guardiola, 41, quit this year and is in New York on a sabbatical with his family.When he announced he was taking a year off he was sounded out by Chelsea about taking over but he rejected the club’s approaches.Roberto Di Matteo was made to wait more than three weeks after Chelsea’s Champions League final win last May before being appointed full-time manager on a two-year deal.Chelsea, overtaken at the top of the Barclays Premier League by Manchester United on Saturday, are struggling in the defence of their European title and play Shakhtar Donetsk, who beat them a fortnight ago in the Ukraine, at home on Wednesday.After his success in Spain – he had a staggering 72 per cent win record in La Liga – Guardiola could have the pick of Europe’s top clubs but has made it known to his close circle of advisers that Chelsea is his preferred choice. There has been a noticeable shift in the type of player Chelsea are signing. Juan Mata, who signed in summer 2011, along with this season’s recruits Eden Hazard and Brazilian midfielder Oscar, have all been schooled to play a certain way.That has attracted Guardiola and there is pressure on owner Roman Abramovich as he considers his long-term plans for the club.Guardiola is credited with the evolution of Frank Rijkaard’s 2006 Champions League-winning team and took Barcelona to another level when they beat Manchester United in the final at Wembley in 2011.Lionel Messi thrived under him while Xavi and Andres Iniesta, both substitutes in the 2006 final against Arsenal, are now regarded as the two best midfielders in the world.Although Manchester City are monitoring Guardiola’s position, the champions are committed to Roberto Mancini. But that loyalty will be tested if they go out of the Champions League at the group stage for the second successive season.Mancini’s relationship with his players is once again fractured, and he is demanding a response against Ajax on Tuesday.City’s new chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain were at Barcelona during the glory years.last_img read more

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