Soccer: Guardiola named Bayern Munich manager

Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola will take over as Bayern Munich head coach for the 2013/14 season, the Bundesliga giants have confirmed, with the Spaniard offered a contract until 2016.

The 41-year-old Guardiola, who has twice coached Barcelona to the Champions League title, will replace current Munich boss Jupp Heynckes, whose contract expires in June, just after his 68th birthday.

Guardiola, who is currently living in New York with his family, resigned as Barcelona coach last year after four years in charge of the Spanish giants.

Bayern have signed one of the most successful coaches in football as Guardiola has won 14 Spanish league and cup titles with Barcelona as a player, then a coach.

Premier League side Chelsea were one of several English clubs who had been linked to the Spaniard in recent weeks, a fact the Bavarian giants were quick to point out.

"We are very pleased that we have succeeded in securing the signature of football expert Pep Guardiola, who was being courted by many clubs,'' enthused chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"Pep Guardiola is one of the most successful trainers in the world and we are sure he will lend plenty of glamour, not just to Bayern, but also to German football.

"We look forward to working with him from July 2013.''

Heynckes has told Bayern he will not be extending his contract past June and club president Uli Hoeness paid tribute to the 67-year-old who steered Bayern to last season's Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.

"After the decision from Jupp Heynckes, to whom we are extremely grateful for all his work, we would all be very happy if the team gives this trainer the glorious farewell he deserves.

"As an adequate replacement for Jupp Heynckes, only a coach of the calibre of Pep Guardiola could come into question.''

- AFP

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