Pep Guardiola to leave Bayern Munich when contract expires - reports
Pep Guardiola is set to leave Bayern Munich when his contract expires next summer, according to widespread media reports.
Germany coach Joachim Low has been tipped as a potential successor alongside former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.
Guardiola, 44, is approaching the end of his three-year contract and has promised there will be "clarity" on his plans next week, with the club's CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, having previously said there would be a final discussion after the game against Hannover on Saturday.
However, Spanish newspaper Marca reported on Wednesday that Guardiola -- who has been linked with Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal -- has already made his decision and told Bayern last week that he would not prolong his stay.
The paper claimed that the former Barcelona boss feels "things have reached breaking point because of a fundamental disconnect between his footballing philosophy and the club's ethos, not to mention certain man-management issues he has had with the squad."
Later in the day, Sport Bild also reported that Guardiola has informed the club of his decision but did not say whether he had decided to stay or go.
On Thursday, reputable German football magazine kicker featured Guardiola on its cover with the headline: "Why Pep is leaving."
Kicker detailed a variety of reasons for his decision, and said that repeated assertions from Guardiola and the club that the final decision would be made when the winter break begins this weekend were "never credible."
It said Guardiola has repeatedly highlighted that he does not have control over Bayern's transfer policy and discussed an ongoing row over the medical staff.
In April, veteran club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt and his staff walked out following a row after a major injury crisis that was blamed for Bayern's exits from the Champions League and DFB Pokal at the semifinal stage.
Kicker said Guardiola and Muller-Wohlfahrt's successor, Dr. Volker Braun, have also fallen out amid a new injury crisis at the club, which has seen the likes of Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa, David Alaba, Mario Gotze, Medhi Benatia, Holger Badstuber and Franck Ribery sidelined during the first half of the season.
Ribery had returned to the Bayern squad earlier this month and scored during his comeback at Borussia Monchengladbach, but he suffered a further setback with what kicker has described as a muscle bundle tear in the following match at Dinamo Zagreb. He is reportedly set for at least another eight weeks on the sidelines.
Kicker, citing two separate sources, said Guardiola blamed Braun for the injury during a private meeting, but the doctor said the coach was at fault for rushing players back.
Bayern are now reported to be looking at successors, and both Munchener Merkur and kicker have linked World Cup-winning Germany coach Low with the position. However, the 2014 FIFA Coach of the Year is under contract until 2018.
Kicker also mentioned under-pressure Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho as a potential but unlikely candidate for Bayern. The Portuguese has previously played down his interest in working in the Bundesliga as he does not speak German.
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Bayern players, however, have still not given up hope that Guardiola will stay at the Allianz Arena.
"I'd be very sad if he was to leave the club. I consider him the best coach in the world," winger Kingsley Coman said on Sky earlier this week. "But he would continue on his way somewhere else too. I am sure of that."
Jerome Boateng told Bild: "It's on everyone's wish list that Pep stays."
Goalkeeper keeper Manuel Neuer added: "I am curious. We are waiting on his decision, and then see how things will continue."
Guardiola is likely to face questions on his future when he holds a prematch news conference on Friday ahead of the game against Hannover.