Pep Guardiola has been in the news recently, the Spanish coach is one of the game’s most sought after managers to put it lightly. His contract with Bayern Munich ends after this season and the rumor mill has been overflowing with stories about where his future lies. However, for Bayern Munich, they will need a coach next year. While the club would love to see Guardiola return, that decision is not their’s to make. There is no doubt that, behind the scenes at Säbener Strasse, there is plenty of discussion as to who should take the reigns in Munich. Here is a look at five possible candidates for the job.
Why not? Guardiola is loved by the Bayern brass. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has been one of the Spaniard’s biggest supporters, and is keen to keep him in Bavaria. Reportedly, Guardiola is set to make 17 million pounds a year if he decides to stick around. That’s a lot of money, but it’s likely that the super rich English clubs could easily match that. But what the English clubs aren’t able to offer is a squad already shaped to Guardiola’s liking, and one that has been implementing his system for three years. If Pep wants to continue to dominate in Europe in the years to come, why leave a team that’s poised to do just that? If Guardiola feels that he isn’t challenged enough domestically then he might be off, but Bayern are a team perfectly suited for his style of play now. Why leave?
This was a hot rumor not that long ago, which has cooled since Carlo Ancelotti has said he can’t stand watching Bayern dominate, but now picked up just recently after reports linked Guardiola to the Manchester City job. The thing is, Ancelotti is a world class manager, and Bayern is a world class team. It’s impossible for the two not to be linked if one is looking for a team to coach, and the other is looking for someone to coach the team. Ancelotti would bring something different to Bayern, much like he did in Madrid. Ancelotti might make more use of Bayern’s blinding pace and the finishing of Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski in a counter attacking system. It worked in Madrid, it might work in Munich. Ancelotti is the obvious high profile choice, and recently Bayern has been looking for every opportunity to raise their profile.
Not that long ago Lucian Favre was one of the big names in Germany, his stock has fallen considerably however. His exit from Borussia Mönchengladbach after their shocking start to the season has some people asking about his ability to lead a major European club. But bringing that Gladbach side into the Champions League and back to relevance was still an impressive feat. He might need an adjustment period if he’s going to take over one of the world’s biggest clubs, but he’s shown the ability to be a tactical wizard at times, and that could give him the boost he needs to succeed. He has a habit of reverting to a more defensive shape, much more than Bayern fans are used to, but that could be more a result of doing more with less in Gladbach.
You’d be hard pressed to find many Bayern fans who would ever want Jose Mourinho to coach in Munich, unless he feels like taking over at 1860. That said, Mourinho could be out of a job soon, and Bayern could need a coach real soon. Mourinho has won leagues in Spain, England, Italy and Portugal. He might want to add Germany to the list. German legend Lothar Matthaus recently said that Mourinho would be the perfect choice to replace Guardiola, should the Spaniard leave. Like Favre, Mourinho has been one to grind out results with defense rather than flashy attacking play, but he’s much more established. Bayern Munich is not particularly liked in the rest of Germany, and hiring Mourinho wouldn’t help. It probably would even make some Bayern fans smile through their teeth at the coach.
A Wild Card
If this was written two months ago this spot would belong to Jürgen Klopp, but that’s not going to happen anymore. It’s very likely that Bayern is going to want to sign a big name, but in their history, they have dug deep to find a relatively unproven name. Udo Lattek was basically a minor assistant with the German national team when Franz Beckenbauer recruited him to coach in Munich in 1970. That worked out pretty well. There are some names like former Hoffenheim manager Markus Gisdol or former Frankfurt manager Thomas Schaff, who could be pulled out of the blue. Perhaps they could go down the Udo Lattek path again and pick up German assistant coach Thomas Schneider. These names are all highly unlikely, as Bayern will be looking for someone with a little more prestige. But nothing is impossible and stranger things have happened, especially when Bayern Munich is concerned. Or maybe they’ll just bring back Jürgen Klinsmann.