Guardiola has PL interest

Pep Guardiola has admitted his interest in working in the Barclays Premier League in the future.

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Pep Guardiola talks to the press on Thur

Pep Guardiola talks to the press on Thur

Pep Guardiola has admitted his interest in working in the Barclays Premier League, but only after he has fulfilled his ambitions with Bayern Munich.

The former Barcelona boss was long courted by Chelsea and Manchester City among others during his year-long sabbatical following a hugely successful spell at the Nou Camp, but opted for the Bundesliga instead.

Friday's European Super Cup in Prague pits Guardiola against Chelsea's Mourinho, formerly of Real Madrid, in an intriguing battle of two of the modern game's most successful managers.

Guardiola would not be drawn on how close he came to moving to Stamford Bridge, but revealed England could be a future destination.

Guardiola said: "Chelsea has a super trainer. Bayern too. And I am happy to be here.

"I don't know if it's true, but I think Mourinho is happy to be there.

"I feel I am a young trainer, just 42 years old and just four years as a trainer in a professional world.

"Before I finish my career, sooner or later, I would like to go to England as a trainer, but in a few years.

"I would like to, first of all, remain as long as possible at this club because I've understood quickly how important this club is for the people, not only in Munich, in Germany and all around the world. I will try to do as best as possible.

"After that, I'd like to live this experience. But Chelsea have a good trainer now."

The appeal of England for Guardiola is the experience.

"Just to live," he added.

"I can't explain to you why because I've not been there. But once I have I can explain the reason why.

"But it's fantasy, football fantasy right now."

The reality is a reunion with Mourinho - his old adversary - with his new team, European champions Bayern Munich.

Guardiola left Barcelona citing exhaustion, not because of the duels with Real and Mourinho, but because of achieving everything he could; he did not have the energy to do it again.

"We had won everything," he added. "After that, we had to win it all again.

"I needed a pause to relax in my head. My enthusiasm in the club, it was not the same."

The Super Cup contest is a repeat of the 2012 European Cup final, which Chelsea won.

But Guardiola's record in head-to-head matches with Mourinho is superior, having won seven and lost three of 15 games. He refused to dwell on it, though.

"The record is done," he added. "It's just for the record books. That's all.

"My past is my past, it's part of my life, in my brain and my heart.

"But I'm here for my experience as a coach. Bayern gave me this opportunity to train this marvellous club and I'll always be thankful for that.

"I will try to do my best. I did my best in Barcelona and I'll do my best here.

"After tomorrow, I don't know what will happen, but I needed this challenge in my life and that's why I'm here."

Both Bayern and Chelsea have had a change of manager since winning the title which has brought them to Prague.

Guardiola, who succeeded European Cup-winning boss Jupp Heynckes, hopes the focus on the managers will cease once Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson starts the match.

The former Spain midfielder said: "One referee will blow his whistle to start the game and the focus will be on the players. The reason we're here is for the players, not the coaches.

"I have lots of respect for Jose Mourinho's career. We have to learn from all the coaches from the world, and with him too.

"I will try to win. He will try to win too."

Guardiola later paused when asked what learned from Mourinho, before delivering a compliment on his opposite number's style.

"When you lose the ball, his quick, quick counter-attacks," he added. "He's a master in these actions.

"But I should work with him to know him the best, and I don't think that will happen in the future. Everybody knows he's an excellent, excellent trainer."

Guardiola will make a late decision on the fitness of midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, while Javi Martinez and Jan Kirchhoff are likely to play limited roles, if they feature at all.

Thiago Alcantara is out for two months and will not play a part.


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