Andy Gray column: Pep Guardiola could be holding out for Man United
Pep Guardiola's decision to join Bayern could be because the one job he wants in England isn't available, writes Andy Gray
Pep Guardiola has agreed to join one of the giants of world football in Bayern Munich, but possibly only because the job he covets in English football – Manchester United – isn’t available yet.
On the surface it seems to be a really good decision from him. The one thing we did know was that Pep was going to join one of the top clubs in the world.
Winning 14 trophies in his time as Barcelona manager offered him that luxury. He took his time, sat down for six months and had a think.
Bayern have been in two Champions League finals in recent years and haven’t quite got over the line but have come very close, and they’re about to win the Bundesliga by a distance after having won it so many times in the past.
You have to admire Bayern, too. There have been no rumours or leaks about it, they’ve got the job done and got the contract signed without anyone finding out, and that says a lot about the club.
It was interesting to hear him talk on Tuesday about how he wants to manage in the Premier League – but the next day it comes out he’s chosen the Bundesliga.
Sir Alex Ferguson will no doubt stay on at Manchester United for at least another couple of years and that may well have influenced Pep’s decision.
He’s the type of man that United would want and the Red Devils are the type of club he would want to be at.
But if Pep has two or three very poor years in the Bundesliga, if he’s allowed that long, then that might affect what happens with regards to getting the United job down the line.
On the other hand, if he has two very successful years, and if Sir Alex calls it a day in two years’ time, then he would be right up there in United’s stock.
There is a lot that Pep has to take on board though. If Jupp Heynckes goes out of the club this year and wins the Bundesliga, which he probably will, and wins the German Cup and the Champions League, which he might, how do you top that?
There’s a lot of pressure on Pep but I think it’s a good fit.
There’s no doubt that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeness have a massive influence at Bayern.
They have a lot of ex-managers and ex-players who run the club, who are not shy in saying what they feel if things aren’t going as they want them in Munich.
They can be very important supporters of you but it can also be hugely damaging if they go against you. If Pep doesn’t start next season well then he will have all of that to cope with.
I don’t think Pep agreeing to join Bayern Munich rather than Chelsea will save Rafael Benítez’s job either – I feel Chelsea will be starting from square one all over again in the summer.
There was talk of Pep going to Manchester City but I don’t think there’s a big appetite at the club to get rid of the manager they have. Roberto Mancini has done a really good job.
He won the FA Cup in his first full year at City and he won the league the year after that. He maybe should be doing better in Europe but that can come later. They’re still second in the league so why would they sack Mancini?
Two or three years down the line there’s a chance Pep might go to City. If they keep progressing the way they are they would be in a position to get him.
But Pep’s decision to go to Germany says a lot about the Bundesliga at the moment. It’s a vibrant league which is well supported with crowds ranging from 80,000 in Dortmund to 30,000 elsewhere.
The grounds are full most weekends and the prices of the tickets are affordable. There’s a lot about the Bundesliga which we can learn from in the Premier League.