It seems not a day goes by without reading another article regarding Roman Abramovich’s relentless pursuit of Pep Guardiola. Yesterday brought the most recent piece detailing the financial package Chelsea have on the table to lure the Spaniard to Stamford Bridge. According to reports (via The Metro), Chelsea are preparing a contract offer worth £22m-per-YEAR with the aim of convincing the former Barcelona player to ignore the potential (and expected) offers from Europe’s elite and join the revolution at Stamford Bridge.
Since his much-publicised departure from Barcelona and his subsequent sabbatical there have been constant rumours linking Guardiola with the position at Stamford Bridge. In a strange way, his shadow has loomed over the club since he became unattached. Despite the miraculous job that Roberto Di Matteo did and no matter how well interim boss Rafa Benitez does at the club, until Pep Guardiola makes a decision on his future there will always be the feeling that whoever is managing Chelsea is just filling in.
But what strikes me is that Chelsea seem to be missing the point here. With all the goings-on and upheaval at the club the last year, the Chelsea manager’s job is widely viewed as one of the least secure positions in football. Roman Abramovich rules with an iron fist and is unapologetic in how he does business at the club. However, if he does want Pep at the club, he’s going to have to take a long hard look at himself and how he conducts his business.
If he does choose Chelsea, Guardiola is going to want stability and guarantees that if things aren’t initially going his way, Abramovich won’t panic and dismiss him in much the same manner that he did with Andre Villas-Boas. Now, as much as Abramovich covets the Spaniard, and it’s clear he does, it seems unlikely that he’d have the capability to completely abandon all of his gung-ho tendencies when it comes to decision-making. And if he were to join Chelsea, the possibility of struggles initially isn’t as crazy as it may sound. The foundation for his success at Barcelona was built even before he became manager.
He coached their B team with distinction and brought the likes of Sergio Busquets and Pedro through the ranks. Aside from that, he is a son of the club, born in Barcelona and joining La Masia at the age of 13 before making his debut against Cadiz in 1990. Abramovich won’t afford him that sort of time to get settled at Chelsea.