There are strong rumors that Pep Guardiola has already decided to leave Bayern Munich. Jonathan Harding takes a look at the reasons why he still might stay and the reasons he could well be leaving for pastures new.
It feels a long time since the flurry of excitement that surrounded the Bundesliga when Pep Guardiola arrived as Bayern Munich's head coach. What a coup, what a moment for a league looking to step up on the European scene! Three years on, and it seems the Guardiola reign is coming to a rather abrupt end.
Away from the trophy cabinet, the headlines and the Allianz Arena, the city of Munich is somewhere that Pep Guardiola clearly feels at home. His connection to the club too, is perfectly in line with his previous work at Barcelona where the club is bigger than the league and even the country.
He has one of the most intelligent and dominant teams in the world at his disposal. Why walk away from that?
Then there's the fact he hasn't won the Champions League for Bayern yet. His time shouldn't be decided on that alone - he has made such a difference to the ethos of the club - but it is the tournament that is the modern definition of domestic managerial greatness. With the Bundesliga blunted by a boring label, it's Europe everyone looks back on when handing out Bayern's end-of-season grades.
Guardiola has unprecedented power at the club, former Bayern bench boss Felix Magath has been quoted as saying. This power goes beyond managerial tasks and transfer decisions. It is about being able to change the ethos of the club on the pitch, and there's no denying that Guardiola has done that. Whatever Guardiola has asked for, it seems he has received.
For all the power Guardiola has at Bayern, is it enough to keep one man in one city? For a man who has already stretched the boundaries - most notably with the dismissal of long-standing club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt - Guardiola won't enjoy less control. Even since the departure of Müller-Wohlfahrt the medical issues haven't disappeared, while the dismissal of Bastian Schweinsteiger marked the loss of some deep coursing Bayern blood. Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge might not want any more spilled and Guardiola might have had enough.
With friends in high places at other clubs - here's looking at you Manchester City - and the lure of other cities - here's looking at you London - a new challenge may be what Guardiola wants. The challenge though, seems more likely to be a tweak here and there rather than a rebuild. And with the Premier League being the one absentee on Guardiola's curriculum vitae, perhaps the time has come for that space to be filled.
It is hard to expect anything but a departure notice after the game against Hannover on the weekend. Perhaps only when he is gone will we realize how spoiled we have been, but the more noise that happens on the way out the less inclined we are to remember.