Football Football

Guardiola exit gives Bayern Christmas Carlo

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola during his side's Bundesliga match against FC Augsburg in Munich on Saturday.
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola during his side’s Bundesliga match against FC Augsburg in Munich on Saturday.

MUNICH, December 20- Bayern Munich have confirmed that Carlo Ancelotti will become their new coach at the end of the 2015-16 season with Pep Guardiola deciding not to renew his contract with the Bundesliga champions.

Guardiola, 44, is approaching the end of his three-year contract and had 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.

And Rummenigge told BILD: “We are grateful to Guardiola for everything he has given our club and hope that we will celebrate many successes together this season. Ancelotti can be a very successful coach for FC Bayern. We look forward to working together.”

Former Real Madrid boss Ancelotti had been tipped to replace Guardiola at Bayern if the Catalan coach decided against prolonging his stay in the Bundesliga, and has agreed a three-year contract beginning next summer.

Bayern confirmed that Guardiola would leave at the end of the current campaign and Bavarian giants have moved swiftly to reveal that Ancelotti — the only manager to have ever won three Champions League trophies — will take over next summer.

Ancelotti was linked with the job at the Allianz Arena in October and Bayern’s former coach Ottmar Hitzfeld told Bild before the announcement: “Ancelotti would be a great fit at FC Bayern. He has been successful everywhere, has won the Champions League three times.

“At this highest level it’s important that players know he can do it. And it’s also important for the public image. A Bayern coach has to have a high reputation.”

Hitzfeld, who retired from coaching following the 2014 World Cup, praised Guardiola as a “pioneer” and “revolutionist” who “created a new football” with a three centre-back defence.

On Ancelotti, who has twice won the Champions League with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid, Hitzfeld said: “He doesn’t stick to his system. He can adjust the style of play to the opponents.”

Former Real Madrid head coach, Carlo Ancelotti.
Former Real Madrid head coach, Carlo Ancelotti.

The German cited the 2014 Champions League semifinal between Bayern and Real, who stormed past the Bavarians with a 4-0 second-leg win at the Allianz Arena, insisting: “He played attacking football at Real, but waited for counter attacks against Bayern.”

Ancelotti was recently also praised by former Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos, who worked under the Italian at Real last season, saying: “He was able to mix the success factors the best: The tactical idea, the human component, which especially at Real Madrid is not easy.”

Earlier this week, Hitzfeld said Guardiola will be appointed as Manchester City manager next summer.