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Pep talk was of England, says surprised Wenger

Pep Guardiola. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Pep Guardiola. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS

Thursday, January 17, 2013
12:57 PM

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed his surprise at Chelsea target Pep Guardiola’s decision to take over at Bayern Munich in the summer.

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The former Barcelona coach, who turns 42 tomorrow, earlier this week expressed his desire to one day coach in England, but his next destination will be the Bundesliga after penning a deal which ties him to the Allianz Arena until June 2016.

Wenger was taken aback to learn of Guardiola’s appointment in Bavaria, particularly after encouraging him to move to the Premier League.

“He asked me a few times and told me a few times he would like to come to England, so I am bit surprised he has chosen to go to Germany,” the Frenchman said.

“Bayern Munich are an interesting club, Germany is an interesting league, well managed so it is defendable what he has done.

“I stayed here for such a long time because I feel this is the most interesting league in the world.

“I always encouraged him to come to England.”

Wenger feels Guardiola’s decision was made with one eye very much on the future.

“It is not a backward step,” he said. “In Germany, maybe along with Spain they are a country with the best young players.

“If you look at the results of Germany in the Under-17s, U18s and U19s, in the last three seasons, they beat everybody.

“It is the football of tomorrow. Tomorrow’s football will be played in Germany, certainly.”

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