Report: AC Milan Courting Pep Guardiola, Italians Competing With Chelsea, Manchester City For His Signature

Pep Guardiola is out of work, but only because he wants to be. The former FC Barcelona manager is taking a sabbatical from soccer, but he’s already considering where he wants to resume his managerial career.

Guardiola is being wooed by AC Milan, while Chelsea and Manchester City are closely monitoring his situation, according to the Mail.

“AC Milan have intensified their attempts to beat Chelsea and Manchester City to Pep Guardiola,” the report says.

“Sportsmail understands San Siro officials have made discreet overtures to the former Barcelona manager with regards to becoming their next boss.”

Guardiola stepped down as Barcelona manager at the end of last season. He’s living in New York City with his family during the year-long break, but he will reportedly choose his next job by February 2013.

AC Milan is struggling after a number of veteran stars left the club last summer. The job of current manager Massimiliano Allegri is thought to be under threat, as Milan languishes in 13th place in Serie A after 12 games. Club officials have publicly backed Allegri, but their support sounds more like the dreaded “vote of confidence.”

City and Chelsea are the most likely destinations should Guardiola decide to manage an English club.

The 41-year-old reportedly prefers to manage defending European champion Chelsea and the feeling is mutual.

“Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich views Guardiola as his dream managerial appointment, despite the fact Roberto Di Matteo led the club to a Champions League and FA Cup double last season,” the report adds.

“Sportsmail exclusively revealed last week that the former Spain midfielder’s favoured destination is Stamford Bridge.”

City recently hired two former FC Barcelona officials, and their presence could help the club land Guardiola. There are also rumors that the position of current City manager Roberto Mancini is growing increasingly insecure.

“The Premier League champions’ chances of landing Guardiola seemed to have improved after the appointment of City’s new chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain, who worked with the sought after boss at the Nou Camp.”

The coming months should see a resolution to one of the hottest managerial sagas in recent years. Which ever team lands Guardiola will get a marquee manager as well as the expectation and scrutiny that will follow his arrival.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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