Following criticism from some of the club's hierarchy, Bayern Munich’s Catalan manager has hinted at a possible move away from the German Champions after only one season on the job.
This comes despite the fact that he won the Bundesliga title in record time, while also qualifying for the German Cup and still being in the Champions League, where they will take on Real Madrid next Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabéu in the first leg of their semifinal match-up.
By most people's standards, that would go down as a very successful season at a new club. However, there are some at the Allianz Arena that are not happy with the style of soccer Pep wants the team to play; a patient, passing build-up too reminiscent of Barcelona, but without the Messi fireworks.
Former player, manager and now honorary president Franz Beckenbauer, reportedly called Guardiola's team “un-watchable.” There is also the fact that once Bayern won the Bundesliga title, their desire to play domestically was just not there, leading to a 3-0 loss at home to Borussia Dortmund over the weekend.
When questioned by reporters about the criticism of his methods during a press conference on Wednesday, Guardiola said: “I have to accept the criticism, I tell myself 'Pep, calm down'. You are here to work as well as possible, and my best talent is work, work, work. I am here to help the club, and if the club do not want me, a handshake and no problem for me.”
Guardiola answered the questions in English rather than German, leading to Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo suggesting that perhaps the Germans did not understand that Guardiola was prepared to leave "without bitterness or tension."
It could all be quite a coincidence or possibly nothing at all but armed with the knowledge that Gerardo Martino would not be staying on as manager at the Camp Nou after exiting from all major competitions and failing to win La Liga, a door would be open to allow Guardiola's spectacular return. Former Barca player and trainer Johan Cruyff would be in favor of this, suggesting that Pep would be the only person capable of stopping Barca’s slide into mediocrity.
When speaking yesterday, the Blaugrana hero suggested it as possibility.
"The best thing for Barcelona is for Guardiola to come back," he told Mundo Deportivo. "If Joan Laporta became president again I'd say that the best thing to do is to sign Pep and as an intelligent person, I'm sure he would."