Germany's top club Bayern Munich have announced they won the race to sign former Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola.
Guardiola has signed a three-year contract from July 1 onwards as he replaces Jupp Heynckes, whose two-year contract expires after the season and who will retire from coaching, Munich said on their website on Wednesday.
"Pep Guardiola is one of the most successful coaches in the world," said Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a statement.
"We are delighted to have managed to win the football expert Pep Guardiola, who was sought and contacted by many famous clubs."
Guardiola coached Barcelona to 14 titles – including two Champions Leagues and World Club Cups each, and three Liga titles – during his four-year tenure at the Nou Camp between 2008 and 2012. He is on a sabbatical in New York since then.
Apart from Bayern, he is also linked with AC Milan, Paris St Germain and Premier League clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City.
Germany's most successful club
Munich are Germany's wealthiest and most successful club with 22 national titles, 15 German cups, four Champions/Champions League trophies and one Cup Winners' and Uefa Cup each.
Their current team boasts the likes of Dutch winger Arjen Robben, Frenchman Franck Ribéry and Germany internationals including Bastian Schweinsteiger, 2010 World Cup top scorer Thomas Müller and captain Philipp Lahm.
Former Munich greats Rummenigge, Uli Hoeneß (president) and Franz Beckenbauer (honorary president) play leading roles at the club.
The news came on the day Guardiola, in a video message for the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations, said he would be keen to work in England at some stage. – Sapa-dpa