Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has found speculation linking with him with Chelsea amusing and has brushed off rumours that he will be the man to succeed Andre Villas-Boas. The 41-year-old has established himself as one of the most highly rated and sought after managers in world football and it is therefore no surprise to see his name feature prominently in the Next Chelsea Manager betting market. Although Jose Mourinho remains both the favourite and popular choice with the club?s fans, Guardiola is believed to be Roman Abramovich?s number one candidate for the job.
With Guardiola?s contract at Barcelona expiring at the end of the summer there have been numerous reports stating that he his eager for a new challenge, with the Premier League his most likely destination. However, it is doubtful that he would trade his job as manager of the best club side in the world for a team that may not even qualify for next season?s Champions League. Other reports have suggested that Guardiola may in fact take a year-long sabbatical in order to avoid burnout.
Guardiola has enjoyed a majestic start to his managerial career, winning the Champions League twice, La Liga three times, four domestic cups as well as a couple of UEFA Super Cups and FIFA Club World Cups - a staggering amount considering he has only been in the job since 2008. His Barcelona side emphatically sealed their place in the last eight of the Champions League after a 10-2 aggregate win over Bayer Leverkusen. The out-of-this-world Lionel Messi thumped in five as they ran out 7-2 winners at the Nou Camp in the second-leg on Wednesday. Barcelona may be the clear favourites to become the first ever side to win back-to-back Champions League trophies but in La Liga it is a different story. They find themselves 10 points behind rivals Real Madrid and face a very tough task to haul themselves back in contention.
If Abramovich does in fact want Guardiola he will have to be patient and play the waiting game as it seems that the Spaniard will remain coy on his future until the end of the season.