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Herbert Hainer, Uli Hoeness don’t rule out a Pep Guardiola return to Bayern Munich

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Wishful thinking perhaps, but it could still technically become a reality.

Annual General Meeting FC Bayern Munich Photo by Tobias Hase/picture alliance via Getty Images

It was confirmed by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at Bayern Munich’s annual general meeting on Friday that Hansi Flick would remain manager of the club until at least Christmas. A bevvy of managerial candidates have been linked with the club since Niko Kovac’s departure was officially confirmed, but for the time being, the faith and trust of the board are in Flick. Uli Hoeness and new president Herbert Hainer, however, didn’t entirely rule out a return to Bayern for current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola is under contract with Manchester City until 2021, but he could prove to be a perfect fit to return to Bavaria, where he managed Bayern from 2013 to 2016. Hoeness has already stated that a Guardiola return would be a welcome possibility if the opportunity presented itself, but he refused to make any further remarks when he was asked about it at the general meeting (Sport1):

I must honestly say that I would have perhaps answered that question three days ago. Now I will definitely not answer the question, because I don't feel authorized in my current position to articulate such thoughts.

When Hainer was asked about a potential Guardiola reunion, the newly appointed Bayern president said that it’s the supervisory board’s decision to find the best coach for the long term future of the club. But if Pep were to become available, he could very well be the best option:

Der Vorstand kümmert sich jetzt um die Sache (Trainersuche) und wird versuchen, nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen den besten Trainer für den FC Bayern zu bekommen. “Wenn ich sage den besten, dann heißt es einerseits, wen wir gerne haben wollen, auf der anderen Seite muss der auch verfügbar sein. Pep Guardiola ist ein super Trainer, aber er hat bei Manchester City Vertrag. Jetzt würde ich sagen: Warten wir ab, bis der Vorstand auf uns zukommt. Dann befassen wir uns mit allen Alternativen. Aber prinzipiell wollen wir den besten Trainer bei Bayern München haben.

Management is taking care of these things (searching for a coach) now and will try, to the best of their knowledge and conscience, to get the best coach for FC Bayern. When I say the best, that means, on the one hand, someone we would like to have; on the other, he also has to be available. Pep Guardiola is a super manager, but he has a contract with Manchester City. Now, I would say this: let's wait until management approaches us. Then we will worry about all the alternatives. But in principle, we want to have the best manager at Bayern Munich.

FC Bayern Muenchen Annual General Meeting Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Manchester City is currently 9 points adrift Premier League rivals Liverpool, having lost to the Champions League winners 3-1 last weekend at Anfield. Guardiola’s back line has suffered injuries to both Aymeric Laporte and Oleksandr Zinchenko, which have clearly affected the collective performances of the squad. Despite those difficulties, it’s hard to see what might prompt Pep to leave his post in Manchester, but a return to Bayern over the summer could be something he’d consider if all of the circumstances were right. He has a solid relationship with the club and is held in high regard in Munich, so he’d really be able to hit the ground running next season if he were to take charge.

Bayern Muenchen v Manchester City F.C. - Friendly Match Photo by A. Hassenstein/FC Bayern via Getty Images