Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has set his sights on taking over at Arsenal, according to reports.
Goal.com claims the double Champion’s League and treble La Liga winning manager is keen to take over the reigns from long-serving Gunners boss Arsene Wenger – ahead of potential interest from AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
The manager took a sabbatical after resigning from the Spanish giants where he spent 11 years as a player and 5 years as coach.
He won 14 trophies in total during his spell in charge of the Catalan side and is rated as one of the best managers of his generation alongside his former colleague Jose Mourinho.
The manager has been linked with a number of different managerial positions around the globe but has yet to decide on his future and, more importantly, it’s destination.
In the wake of Arsenal’s dismal defeat at Bradford City who knocked them out of the League Cup Quarter Final on Tuesday evening, calls for Arsene Wenger to resign have intensified from their supporters.
"Guardiola's preference in England is Arsenal," said Goal.com’s unnamed source.
"The club are aware he would be interested in the job in 2013.”
Guardiola has previous dealings with both Arsenal and Arsene Wenger – he began preparing for his coaching badges under the Frenchman’s watch at the club’s training facilities before taking his position as manager of Barcelona B.
"Guardiola doesn't want to go to Chelsea. He is worried about the lack of stability. He also has a good relationship with Wenger dating back to when he started doing his coaching badges at Arsenal."
It is understood that the Spaniard is uninterested in joining Chelsea and, prior to Roberto Di Matteo’s departure, turned down an offer from Blues owner Roman Abramovich who subsequently hired Rafael Benitez.
Wenger is under contract until 2014 but has yet to negotiate new terms with club, pending their success (or lack, thereof) this season. Guardiola is reportedly willing to wait until then to decide his future.
"There will be no talks before then,” the mysterious source added.
Should Wenger opt to finish out his contract at the Emirates, he’ll likely be moved upstairs into an executive position where he can keep a watchful eye on his legacy – where he’ll likely have a say in who succeeds him. His friendship and respect for Guardiola is well documented along with his admiration of assistant manager of Ajax, former Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.
image: © tpower1978