Pep Guardiola has revealed his dream of managing in the Premier League and has confirmed he will return to coaching next year.
The announcement, in the Daily Mail, will likely alert Chelsea and Manchester City, both of whom have been linked with the former Barcelona coach. Premier League leaders Manchester United were also linked with the Catalan but uncertainty over Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement plans mean any connection between Guardiola and Old Trafford, for now, is speculation.
Guardiola could be followed into the Premier League by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho. The two shared a sometimes acrimonious rivalry in Spain, when Guardiola was in charge of the capital club's arch-rivals. Mourinho has also been quoted as saying he wants to return to management in the English top flight.
Should the ex-Barcelona and present Madrid coach make it to England, the Premier League could see four of the most successful and influential football mangers in recent years - Guardiola, Mourinho, Ferguson and Arsene Wenger - all operating at the same time.
"As a player, I couldn't realise my dream to play there. But I hope in the future I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there and feel the experience of all the coaches and players that have been there. It is unique, to play in that league," Guardiola explained.
"I want to feel the supporters, the environment, the media and the style of the players. I am still young, just 41, so I hope in the future I could train there and enjoy that. I have always found English football very fascinating. The support of the home team is amazing," the ex-Spanish international said.
Since his decision to resign from the post at the Nou Camp and go on a year-long sabbatical, Guardiola has been courted by a number of Europe's top clubs, including Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Italians AC Milan.
However, the Catalan believes the environment is more supportive in England than Italy.
"In Italy, Latin people will support you when you are playing and when you lose, they kill you. In England, I'm always surprised people always support everything and that is nice. That's why I hope to have the challenge to train there," he added.
Even within England, though, Guardiola is believed to have reservations over an appointment with Chelsea. He is believed to be unimpressed by the Blues' owner, Roman Abramovich, and his by now infamous impatience with managers. Nevertheless, the Express reported the Russian billionaire would offer Guardiola an £18m per year deal to take charge at Stamford Bridge.
Abramovich came under fire after he sacked former player Roberto Di Matteo earlier this season, despite the Italian leading the west London club to a maiden Champions League crown earlier in 2012.