Chelsea to Offer Pep Guardiola £40m Deal to Leave Barcelona: Reports

Will Tidey@willtideySenior Manager, GlobalMarch 23, 2012

SANTANDER, SPAIN - MARCH 11: Barcelona heads coach Josep Guardiola looks on during the La Liga match between Real Racing Club and Barcelona at El Sardinero on March 11, 2012 in Santander, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly set to offer Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola a four-year deal worth £40 million to be Chelsea's next manager.

According to an exclusive by Andrew Dillon in The Sun on Friday morning, Guardiola will be given the chance to become the highest paid manager in football—earning £10 million a year, after taxes.

Chelsea sacked Andre Villas-Boas at the start of March and have turned to Roberto Di Matteo as the caretaker until the end of the season. But Ambramovich remains intent on bringing in a proven name for the start of the 2012-13 campaign.

Guardiola would clearly fit the bill. Since taking over at Camp Nou in 2008, he's won two Champions League titles with Barca and three La Liga crowns in a row. He's also reigned over perhaps the greatest club side of them all.

The 41-year-old will run out his latest one-year deal with Barca at the end of the season—and there's already been much speculation about whether he'll sign a new one.

Chelsea have been consistently touted as a possible destination should Guardiola decide to leave Barca behind, but recent reports have suggested he is ready to sign a new one-year deal with the all-conquering Catalans.

Here's what Guardiola had to say to reporters back in February:

Right now I would rather take a bit more time and when I have decided I'll inform the club. I know that I would not be better off somewhere else but I need to feel it.

I cannot work at such a demanding club if I don't have strength. I don't have it clear in my mind, that's why I am not saying whether the cycle has ended or whether I will extend.

If the club sets a deadline we'll talk and I'll decide. In the meantime, I'll focus on the day-to-day.

If Guardiola were to take a £10 million a year package at Chelsea, he would move ahead of Jose Mourinho's reported £8.4 million salary at Real Madrid. It would represent a raise of £3.7 million/year on Guardiola's current deal at Barca.

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