Pep Guardiola has apologised to his Premier League counterparts after admitting that he expects to manage in English football next year. Chelsea, Manchester and Manchester City are all said to be monitoring the situation closely, but the Spaniard insists he is yet to commit his future to any club.
The Bayern Munich boss said earlier this month he had opted against extending his contract at the Allianz Arena as he wanted to move to the Premier League. Bayern had previously announced that Carlo Ancelotti would take over the club next season.
"The reason I have not extended my contract is simple: I want to manage in the Premier League," Guardiola said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "I want to experience the atmosphere there and look forward to the stages there. I'm 44, it's the right moment to go there. I haven't decided on a new club yet – I need a new challenge."
The Spaniard has insisted he is not committed to a new club yet, but has been criticised for his candour after his revelations sparked speculations over ties to Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs, putting pressure on Guus Hiddink, Louis van Gaal and Manuel Pellegrini.
Guardiola has now backtracked over his comments, claiming his intention was never to upset his fellow managers.
"I'm sorry," he said, as quoted by AS. "Normally, throughout my career – both as a player and as a coach, I have shown great respect to my fellow colleagues. It wasn't my intention (to cause any upset)",
Nevertheless, he insisted that he is yet to commit his future to any one club.
"I can't talk about my future; once I have something signed I'll let you know... or not".
Manchester City are said to be the leading candidates to win the race for the sought-after gaffer, due to his relationship with former Barcelona chiefs Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano. However, Chelsea and United are also reportedly interested in securing his services after their complicated starts to the season. Guus Hiddink recently replaced Jose Mourinho at the Blues until the end of the season, while Van Gaal's position at Old Trafford remains under scrutiny.