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‘A great guy’

Rummenigge: How we hired Guardiola

Bayern's appointment of Pep Guardiola as head coach from July this year raised a storm of media interest at the club’s Säbener Strasse headquarters on Thursday. The media centre was packed to capacity with reporters and 12 camera crews when Karl-Heinz Rummenigge took questions and answers regarding the new hiring.

The FCB chairman reported on a telephone conversation with Guardiola the previous evening. “The first thing he said, in German by the way, was: ‘How's Jupp?’ It's very important to him that Jupp has a successful second half of the season and that he’s in good shape." The future boss is “an unbelievable personality," continued Rummenigge, “he's a great guy. You realise this five minutes after sitting across a table from him."

Contract signed after Christmas

The club and the former Barcelona coach have held long talks in recent weeks. Shortly before Christmas, Heynckes indicated to Rummenigge he was minded to call time on his career at the end of the season. “And at that point we knew we'd need to start thinking intensively about a successor. We contacted Pep Guardiola and met on a number of occasions," the chairman revealed.

“We quickly realised that Pep Guardiola has great sympathy for FC Bayern and could certainly see himself working here as head coach," Rummenigge continued. The parties agreed the terms of a three-year contract after Christmas, and Guardiola inked the deal shortly afterwards. “We're happy and almost a bit proud that Pep Guardiola opted for Bayern in the face of big-name competition," the chairman said.

German lessons for new boss

Guardiola will now maintain a dialogue with the club over the next few months, contributing to squad planning for the new season, and helping to assemble a new coaching staff. “As it currently stands, Guardiola will probably bring two members of staff with him, but we won't have to make wholesale changes," Rummenigge explained.

The future boss is also working hard on his German language skills, according to Rummenigge: “He's learning German intensively, because he wants to be fluent enough in German on his arrival for it not to cause any problems." Guardiola is currently on a sabbatical year in New York, and will probably not move to Munich until the summer, Rummenigge revealed, “because Pep doesn't want to impede Jupp Heynckes’ work in any way."