Despite much speculation that he would succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, and recent links to Manchester City and Chelsea (per ESPN Soccernet) it was reported by the Guardian today that the ex-Barcelona man was heading to Germany's most famous club:
The Premier League's elite have suffered a painful reality check after Pep Guardiola, the most coveted coach in world football, turned his back on a prospective move to England and was confirmed as the next manager of Bayern Munich.
The former Barcelona coach, who is on a year-long sabbatical in Manhattan after leaving Camp Nou last summer, has agreed a three-year deal with the Bundesliga club and will replace Jupp Heynckes on 1 July.
A number of Premier League clubs had considered moves for Guardiola at the end of the campaign, principal among them Chelsea, who are under the interim stewardship of Rafael Benítez, though Bayern's speed off the mark has seen those ambitions dashed.
Much like Guardiola's 2008 Barcelona team, this Bayern team is extremely talented, with the likes of Mario Gomez, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben making up the core of the squad.
Talent, though, doesn't always translate into success, as Bayern Munich haven't won a Bundesliga title since 2010. Barca actually experienced a similar predicament before Pep was appointed their manager, as they watched their arch rivals, Real Madrid, win two straight La Liga titles.
At the age of 41, one of Guardiola's greatest qualities as a coach is his ability to relate with his players and form a relationship with them. After all, many players are somewhat close to him in age, and he only stopped playing seven years ago.
With these traits, the Spaniard was able to gain respect and admiration from his Barcelona squad, and foster the growth of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique, who were all 20 or younger at the time he took over. These three players, especially Messi, have transformed into the world's elite, as Guardiola transformed their raw talent into intimidating prowess.
Much credit can be given to him for making these players the stars they are now, and there is no reason he couldn't do the same at Bayern, with lots of young talent in David Alaba and Emre Can.
Alaba is already a regular in the squad, and the 19-year-old Can is expected to do big things in the future. Aside from these two youngsters, most of Bayern's squad are in their prime, and Pep should expect them to continue playing well.
This includes Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Javier Martinez and Toni Kroos, who have plenty of good years left in them and will be counted to produce for years to come.
Aside from the age and skill of his players, Guardiola will find that the qualities of his players fit nicely with the 4-3-3 he used at Barca. With a strong central striker in Mario Gomez, speedy wing players like Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery along with offensively capable wing-backs in Alaba and Philipp Lahm, Pep's tactics should work seamlessly at Bayern.
All of this—the production of the players—adds up to Bayern continuing to be a solid team like they are now, and maybe even dethroning Borussia Dortmund as Bundesliga winners.
But becoming great, will really come down to Pep.
Pep, as a former player, can relate to the excruciating pain of their 2012 Champions League Final loss and show them what European glory tastes like.
He can improve the chemistry of this group and make them great, much like he did at Barca.
He can develop young players into world-class phenomenons.
Lastly, his passion for success has brought him just that—in extreme doses—for such a young coach.
Ultimately, Bayern are already a strong team now, but with Guardiola's track record and effect on teams and players, the sky is the limit for this club.
Watch out, world
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!