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Apr 1, 2012

Guardiola ignores Chelsea interest

Pep Guardiola's representatives have been told that he can "name his price" to take over at Chelsea next season, but so far his answer is "thanks, but no thanks", according to ESPNsoccernet sources.

Not even a Roman Abramovich ransom and a £100 million transfer war chest has so far turned Guardiola's head.

Abramovich's most trusted aides have been given the go-ahead to sound out those who have the ear of the Barca boss but have been shocked that not even a name your own salary offer has so far enticed him to say "yes".

A leading agent, who has heard of the discreet third party approaches, said: "It happened last week, the usual way, third parties chatting to agents, the way it goes these days, and Guardiola has been made perfectly clear he could name his own price.

"Now, usually when that happens anyone would jump at being made financially secure for life, but Guardiola has shown no inclination to move to Chelsea.

"He might change his mind, who knows. However, I was told he was asked a year ago to consider a name your price offer to go to Chelsea, but then he had one year left on his contract and this guy doesn't break contracts, so there was no chance.

"I am sure Abramovich thought it would be different with his contract expiring this summer, but there is yet to be a positive response from him. It looks like he will re-negotiate his contract and stay with Barcelona.

"So, who will Chelsea go for now? Well, they don't know yet, as Guardiola was their No. 1 choice and were sure that a name your price offer would be enough, but apparently it isn't. I am equally sure they will try again."

With no direct approach to Guardiola, there is little Barca can do to kick up a fuss, knowing this is how the dynamics of the football industry work.

Abramovich won't give up on his first choice target until the day Guardiola signs a new contract at Camp Nou, knowing whatever the wealthy Spanish club offered him, he would double at least.

Guardiola is seen as the man who ticks all the right boxes. He speaks fluent English and is interested in living in England, and one day managing a top Premier League club - Arsenal and Manchester United would be other destinations, once Sir Alex Ferguson and or Arsene Wenger retired. Manchester City too, if Roberto Mancini were to leave.

The 41 year-old Guardiola remains on the hit list, along with France coach Laurent Blanc who is out of contract at the end of Euro 2012 but he is not high on their list of targets.

Didier Deschamps, another Frenchman, is more appealing having played at Stamford Bridge.

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