Pep Guardiola to Bayern Munich: Potential Transfers to Fit Pep's Style
Pep Guardiola will replace the retiring Jupp Heynckes and take over as Bayern Munich boss this summer on a three-year deal, as confirmed by the Bundesliga leaders.
It's an appointment which makes sense, given how Guardiola's football philosophy is similar to the one already in place at the Allianz Arena. While off the field, his policy of promoting young players from within fits the structure at Bayern.
And while the former FC Barcelona manager won't therefore chop and change the squad completely, a few subtle switches to make the team Pep's Bayern Munich will invariably take place.
Javi Martinez will probably play a more prominent role while a few similar style signings will take place.
While there are several transfer targets for Pep Guardiola when he takes over as Bayern boss, here a few fairly realistic ones that could well happen.
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One thing Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly be looking for when takes over at Bayern Munich is technical players to fit into the heart of midfield, dictate play and very rarely misplace a pass.
Thiago Alcantara fits that bill. Having enjoyed success last season with Guardiola at the Camp Nou, Alcantara could well be tempted to follow him to Bavaria, especially considering he isn't a big part of Tito Vilanova's plans.
Last season Alcantara finished the campaign with a 92.7 pass success rate, which is better than any Bayern Munich player managed. He would provide Bayern with a solid passer well-versed in tiki-taka.
When he makes the move to Germany, Guardiola will need new players to help ease the tactical transition; however slight it may be, and Alcantara could be ideal.
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Failing a move for Thiago Alcantara, Real Betis midfielder Beñat Etxebarria would be another viable option.
The 25-year-old midfielder is easily one of the best players in La Liga not playing for the big two, with his technical skills, ability to retain possession, and eye for a defence-splitting long pass making him ideal for any side set up to keep the ball.
At Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola he'd have the potential to flourish playing as the furthest back in a three-man midfield, and would be an important player if Bastian Schweinsteiger or Luiz Gustavo fail to adapt to an even more possession-based 4-3-3.
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As well as players for his immediate first-team plans, Pep Guardiola will also need talented youngsters to use as squad players providing competition.
That's especially the case on the wings with Arjen Robben's career at Bayern going stale and Xherdan Shaqiri not making the expected impact.
Gerard Deulofeu will certainly be one target, especially considering he has a €10 million buyout clause, according to the Daily Mail.
A very gifted player with the technical ability and tactical training Guardiola desires, Deulofeu could be another to kick-start the Pep revolution.
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The main tactical change at Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola will most likely be the introduction of a false nine.
Lionel Messi is almost certainly not on the radar, so the next best available option could well be Liverpool's Luis Suarez.
Of course the Reds wouldn't be looking to sell, but the chance to move to a trophy-winning team playing swashbuckling football which is set to continue with the appointment of one of the most respected football coaches in the world could be too hard to turn down.
Not only that, but Guardiola will inevitably be looking for a false nine to go straight into the starting line-up, as Bayern don't really have a player who has experience or is fully capable of playing that role.
Suarez fits the bill, and it's no coincidence his best form (15 goals in 21 league games so far) for Liverpool has come under a Brendan Rodgers tactical regime built on the style of Guardiola's.
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If a move for Luis Suarez fails, another false nine ideal for a Pep Guardiola team is Stevan Jovetic.
The 23-year-old forward is in good form for Serie A high-fliers Fiorentina with eight goals and three assists from 15 league games.
With 36 dribbles completed this season and 28 key passes made, Jovetic possesses the creativity and ability to keep the ball in the final third that a Guardiola system would require.
And Jovetic is likely to be available in the summer, having said there's a 50 percent chance he could leave Fiorentina (h/t SkySports.com).
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With Dante not exactly young, and the likes of Daniel Van Buyten and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk on the way out sooner rather than later, there's a place in the Bayern Munich side for at least one new centre-back.
Guardiola could well seek to draft in a new defender to help ease the tactical transition, and Torino centre-back Angelo Ogbonna is one player they could target.
According to WhoScored.com, the 24-year-old is currently the second most accurate passer behind Xavi Hernandez in Europe's top five leagues, with a 93.5 percent pass success rate.
That combined with his stellar tackling and intercepting ability, the two main defensive qualities required in a Guardiola-style system (for example, in the Premier League it's more about winning aerial duels and making effective clearances), make Ogbonna exactly the type of defender Guardiola could target.
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Bayern Munich aren't called FC Hollywood for nothing. They've got one of the biggest managerial names in the game, so there's more than a chance they could get one of the biggest playing names in the sport.
Having been heavily linked with Barcelona for a lot of Guardiola's tenure and since coming onto the world football scene, the indications are that Neymar is a player Pep wanted in his Barca team.
And with money available at Bayern Munich, the Spaniard might see the Brazilian superstar as the man to lead his revolution and become the Lionel Messi-esque focal point in his fluid 4-3-3 formation.
While it seems Neymar is still set for Barca if and when he does move to Europe, with Guardiola at the helm, a move to Bayern would at least be an easy transition on the pitch for the forward, with several great passers and technical players already in the team to allow him to flourish in the false nine role.
A move for Lionel Messi might be a stretch too far for Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, but a blockbuster transfer for Neymar isn't entirely out of the realms of possibility.