Pep Guardiola has issued a come-and-get-me plea to the Premier League elite, by declaring: “I want to manage in the Premier League”.
The Spanish boss announced in December that he would be leaving current club Bayern Munich next summer, when his three-year deal in Bavaria expires.
The former Barcelona chief, 44, has been heavily-linked with a move to Manchester City, and a reunion with former Barca bosses Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, while Chelsea and Manchester United have also been mooted as potential destinations.
Paris Saint-Germain have also shown interest in taking him to France, but Guardiola has now made clear where his next port of call will be.
“The reason I have not extended my contract is simple. I want to manage in the Premier League,” declared Guardiola, speaking for the first time since his Bayern departure was announced.
“I want to experience England’s stadiums and emotions. I think at my age, it is the right moment to go.”
“If I were as old as Jupp Heynckes was during his last stint [at Bayern], I would have stayed,” he said. “But I am still young enough, only 44 – I want a new challenge now. My career is a long way from over.
“Three years are enough. I am not comfortable with staying at one club for 30 years. I want new restaurants, a new city, a new challenge.
“When I got to Munich, people asked, ‘Why Germany and not England?’ I want to experience the emotions there. Why England? That’s my instinct right now.”
“I’ve very happy and grateful to Bayern for the trust they’ve shown me but I need a new challenge.
“I hope he’s [Rummenigge] ok and not upset. They did all they could to keep me. It wasn’t about money, it was my decision.”
However, suggestions that Guardiola has already agreed a move to a particular Premier League club are false, according to Guardiola.
“When I have a new club, the club will communicate that,” he added. “I have several offers from England but I haven’t signed anything yet.
“At the moment, I can’t say anything else because nothing is fixed.”
Since arriving in Munich, Guardiola has won back-to-back Bundesliga titles and looks set to claim a third this term.
However, having twice led Barcelona to Champions League success, he has failed to claim a third European Cup with Die Roten. Last season his former club ended his hopes in the semi-final, having seen Real Madrid do likewise the previous year.
Now Guardiola has declared that in his final months in Germany, claiming Bayern’s sixth European Cup is his main aim, but has acknowledged the Bundesliga remains the most important title to the club.
“Bundesliga is the most important title. It shows how professional we are. Champions League is momentum.”
“With a Champions League win, my time here is complete.”
Guardiola also handed his backing to the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as his successor in Munich.
“Coaches come and go but I think Carlo Ancelotti is a perfect choice to take over and I wish him the very best.”