19/01/2013 08:43, Report by Nick Coppack
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Pep move surprises boss

Even Sir Alex Ferguson was surprised to learn former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola had agreed to join Bayern Munich, although the Manchester United manager confesses he can see the allure of the German giants.

Bayern announced on Wednesday that Guardiola, currently spending a year away from football, would take over in the summer on a three-year contract.

Many, including Sir Alex, had expected the Barcelona legend to take up a post in the Barclays Premier League, with Manchester City and Chelsea hot favourites to land the 41-year-old's signature.

"I was surprised because I didn’t see it coming," the Reds boss told media at his pre-match press conference on Friday. "All the time the talk was about clubs in England.

"But if you assess it as a coach, if you're given the opportunity to manage Bayern Munich it is hard to turn down because they are probably one of the best-run clubs in Europe. A fantastic city, a fantastic stadium, good players, good history. It is very easy to choose Bayern Munich with all these circumstances."

Ferguson has always been full of praise for the Bavarian club, no doubt due to the way their history, like United's, influences the current state of play.

"Karl Heinze Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness are involved. You also have Gerd Muller working in the place and I think Sepp Maier is still there. That place is loaded with players who made that club’s history. They've always been that way. It's a really well-run club and I think it's easy to accept that offer because of that."

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