Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/5/12
English newspaper The Daily Mail is reporting that Pep Guardiola told his friends he is expecting to return to coaching next season, and that he wants to have his future decided by January or February 2013. Currently spending a sabbatical year in New York with his family, Guardiola is the target of the English Premier League biggest teams. Their owners wouldn't hesitate to fire their current man in charge to acquire the services of the man behind Barcelona's most successful spell in its history. After Manchester City hired former Barcelona sporting director Txiki Begiristain, rumors have surfaced he would bring Pep to Manchester City to replace Italian Roberto Mancini who led the Citizens to their first league title in 44 years. Even though his team has had a good start, Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo also may have his job on the line. It’s well known that the Blues owner Roman Abramovich would love bring Guardiola to Stamford Bridge to take charge of his team. Arsenal could also be among the teams interested in Pep. After not having won any silverware in seven years, Arsene Wenger's spell could come to an end if Arsenal realizes it won't be easy to have Guardiola later in the future. The Gunners' playing style has similarities with Guardiola's philosophy, which would make his adaptation to English soccer much easier. Due to his spell in New York and the economic power of the Premiership, it is believed by media that Guardiola's most probable destination would be England with Italy as a second option -- Spain is being ruled out unless he goes back to Barcelona. The 41-year old would like things sorted out at the beginning of next year to plan well ahead for the 2013-14 season and set transfer priorities and work on philosophy as well. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson also said recently he would like to be replaced by Guardiola when he retires, but since that's not happening next season, the Red Devils don't appear to be an option for the Catalan coach. For more sports news, visit Terra.com.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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