Nothing has been made official, but some reports have Bayern Munich's board negotiating with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. The 41-year old Santpedorian is certainly a hot commodity, and has an impressive remedy. But a few obstacles remain.
The first, of course (continuing a conversation that started in the comment section of the last post) is that Bayern is still engaged in "what's up for next year?" talks with current manager Jupp Heynckes. The kicker article, and the English translations of such, almost make it sound like Bayern would give Heynckes the right of first refusal IF he wants to come back. There are mixed reports as to what these conversations have entailed, but it seems like KRH wants to know whether Heynckes is going to stick around past this spring. And he wants to know sooner rather than later.
This is understandable, because if the club is going to embark on a new coaching search, it would be better to get started. After all, some of the best candidates could already be gone by summer. But, keep in mind Jupp Heynckes would maybe rather base his decision on what happens for the rest of this year. If Bayern wins a treble, he may want to retire on that high spot; if the year finishes like last year, on the other hand, he may prefer to come back for one more shot.
None of the newspapers can say for sure whether Bayern is going to even be in the hunt for a new manager; if we are, however, Pep Guardiola certainly has a nice pedigree. Obviously, any guy who has won multiple Champions League trophies and put together such an amazing run with Barca has something going for him. Pep helped put together the famous Barca midfield, which tiki-taka'd opponents to death for years; interestingly, though, his tactical skills were almost secondary to his ability to manage egos and personalities. It's hard to compare clubs to each other, but Barca and Bayern have a lot in common ... as far as size and importance, obviously, but a few more specific things as well: both have a roster that doubles as the bulk of a great national team. Both are smothered by non-stop media coverage and swarms of reporters. Both have enormous expectations, with critics quick to pounce after a few setbacks.
Drawbacks? A few:
- the language barrier could be a problem
- Bayern is already a club with a lot of strong personalities and an established order. Would the guys take his instruction well?
- tactically, both clubs dominate possession. But Bayern likes to press forward in tidal-wave style, while Pep's Barca teams loved to set up endless parlor tricks in the middle of the field. Would Pep be able to change his style? Would Bayern's players be able to adapt to a new system?
Nothing is certain yet, anyway. Inside Futbol and Caught Offside both mention Pep's reps meeting with Bayern. The Times of India and a few other sources, meanwhile, prefer Manchester City. We'll continue to track the story, so stay tuned to our twitter feed at http://twitter.com/BavarianFBWorks. Thanks for reading.