Arsenal FC has emerged as Guardiola’s preferred destination, should he decide to manage an English club next season, according to Goal.com.
“Representatives of the former Barcelona manager have let it be known to the north London club that he would be very keen to be considered for the manager’s job if it was to become available next year,” the report says.
“‘Guardiola’s preference in England is Arsenal,’ a source reportedly told Goal.com. ‘The club are aware he would be interested in the job in 2013.'”
The 41-year-old stepped down as Barcelona manager at end of last season, citing burnout and a need to “recharge his batteries” at the end of a highly successful four-year spell. He is currently in the midst of a one-year sabbatical, living in New York City with his family. He is expected to choose his next job in early 2013, and he has no shortage of suitors.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, and Paris Saint-Germain have been rumored destinations in recent months. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly has his heart set on bringing Guardiola to Stamford Bridge, but Goal.com reports the feeling is far from mutual.
“Guardiola doesn’t want to go to Chelsea,” the source told Goal.com. “He is worried about the lack of stability. He also has a good relationship with [Arsenal manager Arsene] Wenger dating back to when he started doing his coaching badges at Arsenal.”
The Arsenal link comes at an interesting time, as the Gunners are at a low point. Arsenal has struggled for much of the season, and Wenger faces greater scrutiny than at any point in his 16-year reign in North London.
Wenger,63, is under contract through the end of the 2013-14 season, but he has not held talks with the Arsenal board about signing an extension. This mean’s Guardiola’s name will lurk in the background, as the incumbent manager’s seat gets hotter and hotter.