Which Premier League club will land Pep Guardiola after Bayern Munich exit?

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Football’s worst-kept secret is out: Pep Guardiola has announced that he will be leaving Bayern Munich to move to the Premier League. But where will he go?

Guardiola has chosen not to extend his contract beyond the three years that he signed when initially taking charge of the German giants, and having dominated La Liga with Barcelona and now the Bundesliga with Bayern, the Premier League is expected to be his next port of call.The man who won 14 trophies in four seasons with Barcelona is one of the most in-demand coaches football has seen, but where could he end up working in the summer?We run down the leading English contenders to land the most wanted coach in football.

Where should Pep Guardiola go next?

Chelsea  * Manchester United  * Manchester City  * Arsenal

Manchester City

City have had the structure in place to lure Guardiola for some time and it feels as though they’ve been preparing for his arrival for years. His former colleagues at Barcelona now run City – Ferran Soriano as chief executive and Txiki Begiristain as technical director – and if he did take charge at Etihad Stadium he would take control of an institution with a global reach, thanks to City’s acquisition of foreign clubs, a fantastic youth setup and some of the best facilities in the world, not to mention the huge wealth of owner Sheikh Mansour.Manuel Pellegrini, who could be fairly easily eased aside, has also built an attractive team with an emphasis on using the ball. What’s not to like for Guardiola?

Verdict: The logical choice

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Manchester United

Guardiola was a leading contender to replace Sir Alex Ferguson before opting to join Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013 and his excellent record in Germany – Champions League semi-final disappointments aside – has only bolstered his CV. The questions is whether United are brave enough to dispose of Louis van Gaal, who has one season left on his contract. The size of Old Trafford, the club’s huge resources and United’s rich history would all be selling points for Guardiola. They could be real contenders for his signature if they do take the plunge and go in for him, and disposing of Van Gaal would likely prove a popular move given a succession of mind-numbing performances of late.

Verdict: Could be the perfect fit, if United have the balls

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Chelsea

Roman Abramovich is known to have admired Guardiola for years. When Chelsea signed players like Oscar and Eden Hazard it was thought they were starting to try and ape the Barcelona model, although that experiment collapsed when Roberto Di Matteo was sacked in November 2012 and replaced by Rafa Benitez. Jose Mourinho’s return ensured Abramovich would not be treated to any tiki-taka and it is thought he still yearns to see attractive football at Stamford Bridge, even if it has been drummed out of the current squad. Chelsea’s London location is certainly a plus, but they don’t compete at the very top of the market for signings at the moment, and that could frustrate a manager used to working with the very best. Chelsea’s inherent instability could also be a red flag.

Verdict: Too many question marks

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New Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink sat in the stands with Didier Drogba and owner Roman Abramovich before kick off – Reuters

Arsenal

Have always been seen as rank outsiders to land Guardiola but recently there has been a bit of talk that Arsenal might actually be the Catalan’s favoured destination. Guardiola is said to be a “huge fan” of Arsenal’s style of play and would relish the chance to replace a great like Arsene Wenger. Arsenal have lots of money in the bank, a 60,000-seater stadium and have the added bonus of being located in London, a city which is said to appeal to Guardiola and his family. The problem is the inscrutability of Wenger, who has another season on his current contract but shows few signs of wanting to bring his managerial career to a close. Certainly that is hugely unlikely to happen this summer, meaning it might have to be another sabbatical before Guardiola goes to Arsenal.

Verdict: The right club at the wrong time

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