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Pep to City rumours fly after Bayern slump

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Bayern Munich coach, Pee Guardiola comforts defender Jerome Boateng (r) after crashing out of German Cup.

Bayern Munich coach, Pee Guardiola comforts defender Jerome Boateng (r) after crashing out of German Cup.

BERLIN, May 10- Fresh claims linking Pep Guardiola to Manchester City are circulating after Bayern Munich warmed up for their Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona by slumping to a fourth straight defeat.

The Bundesliga champions were beaten 1-0 at home by Augsburg on Saturday, hardly the best preparation for Tuesday’s clash with Barcelona, when they must somehow overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit.

The emphatic defeat at the Camp Nou last week followed an exit from the German Cup semi-finals on penalties to Borussia Dortmund and a league loss at Bayer Leverkusen and the current run is the worst of Guardiola’s coaching career.

The morale-sapping Augsburg reverse means Bayern have suffered four defeats in a row for the first time in 24 years and have now failed to score in three consecutive matches for the first time in 15 years.

The Bavarian giants have wobbled since clinching their 25th German championship, but Guardiola, who has so far won 19 titles as a coach at Barcelona and Bayern, has said he will fulfil the final year on his Munich contract which expires in June 2016.

However, there have been new claims that Premier League giants City are negotiating with Guardiola to bring the 44-year-old to the Etihad Stadium to replace Manuel Pellegrini as head coach.

Broadcaster beIN Sports tweeted on Saturday that Guardiola has made a verbal agreement to manage City next season.

“Guardiola was contacted two months ago by Manchester City and rejected. Contacted again two weeks ago: didn’t accept nor reject, still talking,” beIN sports reporter Tancredi Palmeri added on Twitter.

Guardiola has reportedly been offered 22 million euros ($32.75 million) a year to help City usurp Chelsea at the top of the English league and give them the success in the Champions League that their owners so crave.

“From my information they are in the advanced stages of discussions and it is very possible that he will already start there next season,” said former Bayern, City and Germany midfielder, and Sky expert, Dietmar Hamann.

Reports in England, meanwhile, say that City, whose CEO Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain both used to work at Barcelona, have dismissed suggestions there is any agreement with Guardiola to come to the club in the near future.

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