Pep Guardiola Remains The Favourite To Become Chelsea's Next Permanent Manager

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 27 November 2012, 10:11

Pep Guardiola remains the hot bookmakers' favourite to become the Next Permanent Chelsea Manager following the short-term appointment of Rafa Benitez. To the anger of the majority of Blues supporters the London club harshly sacked Roberto Di Matteo last week and then proceeded to add fuel to the fire by rapidly appointing the hugely unpopular Benitez as his replacement until the end of the season.

There was a cauldron of hostility towards Benitez at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with many supporters venting their frustration by broadcasting “Rafa Out” banners and posters. Since Roman Abramovich’s arrival at the club the fans have become accustomed to seeing a new manager in the dugout, with the Russian owner infamous for his ruthless approach to hiring and firing. However, Chelsea legend Di Matteo was a very popular figure having miraculously led the club to a Champions League and FA Cup double last season and it is safe to say that a number of fans are unlikely to ever warm to Benitez, even if he proves to be a success.

Guardiola remains the leading frontrunner to come in next summer, with Sky Bet pricing him at just 5/4, ahead of the likes of former Blues bosses Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink. Guardiola has frequently been linked with the club over the past couple of years, which was intensified after he left Barcelona last summer. The 41-year-old is currently half-way through a yearlong sabbatical meaning it was impossible for Abramovich to lure him to Stamford Bridge last week. But the Russia will be intent on getting his top target and will again approach him in the summer.

There is no question that Guardiola has the world at his feet at the moment and he is likely to have a number of top clubs scrambling for his signature in six months time. There has been recent speculation linking him with becoming the next coach of Brazil following the departure of Mano Menezes, although the World Cup 2014 hosts are now believed to be eager to appoint a homegrown manager. Meanwhile Guardiola has been connected with European giants AC Milan and Bayern Munich and is also a prime candidate in the next Man Utd, Man City and Arsenal manager markets.

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