Bayern Munich are set to undergo a sizable managerial change next summer, with the club having now confirmed widespread rumours that current boss Pep Guardiola will be leaving the Allianz Arena at the end of the season. The former Barcelona stalwart, who has won consecutive Bundesliga titles since taking over from Jupp Heynckes in 2013 and currently has the team well on course for a third, will definitely be succeeded by Carlo Ancelotti.
"Pep Guardiola (44) will not extend his contract with FC Bayern München," it was revealed by chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in an official statement released through Bayern's official website on 20 December. "The German record champions' new coach from 1 July 2016 will be Carlo Ancelotti. The 56-year-old Italian will receive a three-year contract expiring on 30 June 2019."
A vastly experienced figure, former Juventus, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain chief Ancelotti has won three Champions League titles as a manager in addition to domestic crowns in Italy and France. He guided Chelsea to a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2010 and also ended Real Madrid's anxious wait for a 10th European crown with victory over rivals Atletico in Lisbon. He has been out of work since being sacked and replaced by Rafael Benitez at the Santiago Bernabeu in May, but his proven track record of success should make the transition at Bayern relatively seamless.
"Carlo Ancelotti has enjoyed success everywhere as a coach and has won the Champions League three times," chief executive Rummenigge added. "Carlo is a calm, balanced expert, who knows how to deal with stars and favours a multifaceted style of play – we were looking for this, and we have found it. We are looking forward to working with him."
Bayern's release also featured a short comment from Ancelotti himself, which read: "I am very honoured that I will be coach of the great club FC Bayern from next season."
Fight for Guardiola
As for Guardiola, confirmation of his impending availability seems certain to spark a mad scramble for his services, particularly when you consider the uncertain managerial situations currently prevalent at many of Europe's biggest clubs. In addition to Chelsea seeking a long-term successor for the sacked Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal's status at Manchester United appears increasingly precarious after the club's winless run was extended to six matches with a shock 2-1 defeat to lowly Norwich at Old Trafford this weekend.
Manchester City only handed Manuel Pellegrini a new two-year contract extension back in August, yet the Etihad Stadium has frequently been rumoured as the Catalan's most likely destination in the event he was to depart Bayern. Arsenal may also be considered as contenders, although long-serving Arsene Wenger's current deal is not due to expire until May 2017.