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Chelsea to offer Pep £20m-a-season

Roman Abramovich wants to offer former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola a £20 million-a-season contract to take over at Chelsea in the summer, ESPN can reveal.

• Blog: Prime and Megatron
• Blog: Chelsea in UCL pain
• Delaney: Relaxed Rafa

It is being suggested the Chelsea owner's 'trigger happy' attitude to managers - eight sacked in nine-and-a-half years - is putting off Guardiola, who is currently taking a year out of the game in New York after leaving the Nou Camp.

Indeed, reports suggest that technical director Michael Emenalo is drawing up a backup list which includes Jurgen Klopp, however, ESPN has learned that Abramovich is determined to win the race for Guardiola, despite intense interest from PSG, AC Milan and Bayern Munich.

With Europe's elite all keen to lure Guardiola, Abramovich plans to blow them all out of the water with a massive offer of a £20m-a-year, four year contract, plus bonuses that would easily ensure the Spaniard earns nearly £100m for his troubles and becomes the world's highest paid manager.

But Guardiola's agent, Josep Maria Orobitg, recently revealed that his client would not be making up his mind before the New Year.

"Pep Guardiola will not decide anything before January. I was with him in New York, 15 days ago, and he told me that he will not decide before January or February which team he will coach or if he will sit on any bench next season," he told Brazilian website Lancenet.

"It doesn't matter what happens, before that period he will not take any decision with any club nor with any national team. Only he will decide his future, he has the personality to do that. Now he is with his family, resting, reading, enjoying his hobbies, watching football... in January he will start to think about which team he will lead next season."

Abramovich has already tried to lure Guardiola to Stamford Bridge twice, but the next bid cannot come quickly enough for disgruntled Chelsea fans who voiced their protests at Roberto Di Matteo's sacking and also the interim appointment of Rafael Benitez before their exit from the Champions League last week.

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