As first reported this morning, former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola will be coming to the Allianz Arena after the end of this season. With Bayern having secured the signature of the most coveted man in football, we look at some reactions from around the globe.
It was only yesterday that The Guardian was predicting that Pep would join a team in the Barclay's Premier League. They weren't alone in this, of course, as a lot of people figured that Guardiola would travel across the Bay of Biscay, with Chelsea and Manchester City thought to be the most likely destinations. But The Guardian was the most convinced as of yesterday, describing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's "near-obsession" with bringing pep to Stamford Bridge.
Today, they're more subdued, with a mostly matter-of-fact description of the Bayern deal. Interestingly, they say that Jupp Heynckes had already decided that he wasn't going to return before Christmas. A few of us had discussed that earlier in the week, but if it was really already set in stone, the club did a good job in keeping the news under wraps.
On the Chelsea side, The Independent says that Pep "was simply leading everyone on." Meanwhile, at We Ain't Got No History, Stephen Schmidt, acknowledges that Guardiola has a great record, but also says that he's not sold that the man is worth all the hype; in particular, he points out that Tito has had great success with the same players since Pep left the Camp Nou. At any rate, the biggest concern for Chelsea supporters seems to be that Rafa Benitez will remain on board. The Blues appear to now be waiting for Jose Mourinho to make up his mind. But if he decided to stay in Madrid, Chelsea may be out at sea this summer.
Manchester City might be in similar peril, as their manager has also been rumored to be on the way out for a while. Mancini may have brought the Premier League title to the blue side of Manchester, but their team has struggled this season despite the huge payroll (bounced out of the Champions League before the group stage was over, and sitting 7 points off the pace in the Prem). In fact, The Sun and the Lancashire Evening Post thought City was a more likely destination than Chelsea earlier this week. But the Sheik failed to get his man, and Mancini's fate will probably be determined now on how City finishes the year. If they fail to make up ground on United, City could be looking through the classifieds themselves. Keep in mind, though, they're now on a winning streak after going on the road to beat Arsenal this past weekend, so things might not be as desperate for the Citizens.
Over at Barca Blaugranes, they have a respectful discussion about the proceedings, and they remind everyone that FC Bayern is, for now, still Jupp Heynckes team. Barca vs. FC Bayern has always been and will always be a great match-up anytime the two clubs meet; but, in the near future, that tie could get even more interesting.
As always, stay tuned for more updates, and leave comments below if you're so inclined. If you go over to the Chelsea or Barca blogs, please don't be a jerk. Thanks for reading.