Guardiola confirmed to leave Bayern as Manchester clubs lie in wait

Guardiola confirmed to leave Bayern as Manchester clubs lie in wait
Bayern Munich confirmed head coach Pep Guardiola will leave the club this summer and be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti. The newly-available Catalan tactician is set to spark a cross-city battle between Manchester United and Manchester City for his services.

The former Barcelona trainer is in the final six months of the three-year contract he signed in 2013 and has turned down a new deal with the Bavarian powerhouse.

Guardiola has led Bayern to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and is on course to make it a hat-trick with the club eight points clear midway through the season. However, the Champions League has eluded the German club under Guardiola, with Bayern losing in the semifinals to Real Madrid and Barcelona in the last two seasons (both winning teams went on to lift the trophy).

"We are grateful to Pep Guardiola for everything he has given our club since 2013," Bayern Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

"I am convinced that Pep and our team will now work even more intensively towards achieving our major sporting goals - especially as it is now confirmed that Pep is to leave FC Bayern."

Ancelotti has been out of work since being sacked by Real Madrid at the end of last season and expressed his excitement at his impending Allianz Arena arrival.

“I am very honored that I will be coach of the great club Bayern Munich from next season,” the experienced Italian said.

Rummenigge was also full of praise for the former Chelsea boss, who could become only the second coach after Jose Mourinho to win titles in four of Europe's top six leagues by adding the Bundesliga to his medal haul.

”Carlo is a calm, balanced expert, who knows how to deal with stars and favors a multifaceted style of play - we were looking for this, and we have found it,” the Bayern chief stated.

Speculation over where Guardiola will manage next has intensified, with the Manchester clubs the most likely destination, despite Chelsea sacking Jose Mourinho on Thursday.

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City are long-term admirers of the Catalan coach, who won 14 trophies in four glorious years at Camp Nou.

Current boss Manuel Pellegrini was handed a new contract in the summer, but with former Barcelona figures Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain in the Etihad Stadium hierarchy, Guardiola is being tipped to follow suit.

United meanwhile have not won in their last six games in all competitions, with pressure building on Louis van Gaal after a defeat to Norwich on Saturday.

The Dutchman is under contract until the summer of 2017, but rumblings of an early exit to facilitate Guardiola’s arrival are gathering pace.