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Why Liverpool have better chance than Chelsea of convincing Guardiola about England move

Published on: 22 May 2012

Those who observe him closely are adamant: Pep Guardiola will step away from the game once his time is up at Barcelona.

But if the departing coach is tempted by a move to the Premier League, it is Liverpool, not Chelsea, which will have the greater chance of convincing him to cut short any sabbatical.

Roman Abramovich will throw the bank at Guardiola to persuade him to move to London after Friday's Copa del Rey final. Huge wages, a massive transfer budget and inheriting the new European champions - it has to be an attractive proposition.

But it is struggling Liverpool which is the better fit for the Spaniard.

At Anfield, Guardiola will instantly recognise the youth structure put in place by former Barcelona coaches Rodolfo Borrell and Jose Segura.

Both men were tempted to Merseyside by Rafa Benitez to overhaul Liverpool's development system and the club is now reaping the rewards with the likes of Martin Kelly, Jack Robinson and Jon Flanagan all looking natural Premier League players.

For all the silverware he brought to the Nou Camp, Guardiola's proudest achievement at Barca was the number of players from the La Masia academy he introduced to the first team. The Barca coach always made a point of preferring a homespun player to an outside signing and what Liverpool have put in place will excite him.

Liverpool can also count on Guardiola's brother for a glowing reference. Pere Guardiola is the agent of Luis Suarez and the Uruguayan has made it clear how much he appreciates the support the club gave him during last season's Patrice Evra controversy.

No matter the rights and wrongs of the issue (and the people who lost their jobs because of it), Liverpool's controversial stand will have gained them a great ally in Pere Guardiola should they get serious about going for his brother.

The argument goes that Fenway Sports Group (FSG) are now pulling back on their spending after the sacking of Dalglish and his £120 million transfer spend.

But FSG is a considered speculator and they'll know making Guardiola Liverpool manager will give them a huge opportunity to capture the much sought after - and lucrative - US-Latino market. All the major American sports are actively exploring how to tap into this fast growing part of the country's population.

FSG are making a conscious effort to build Liverpool's profile across the USA., which was affirmed by chairman Tom Werner's recent comments about Fulham attacker Clint Dempsey. The Reds, with an eye on the Hispanic demographic, already have a deal in place for Pachuca striker Marco Bueno and are also looking at his teammate Hector Herrera.

If it gets down to money, it's unlikely FSG will hesitate meeting Guardiola's price given his profile in the US's Latin community.

Even the idea of working for owners based on the other side of the world will appeal to Guardiola.

His final days at Barcelona are proving tense, as disagreements with both president Sandro Rosell and sports director Andoni Zubizarreta over transfer policy and team selection have now made it to the local press. The opportunity to work for a 'hands off' board at Liverpool, even in contrast to Abramovich and Chelsea, is sure to work in FSG's favour.

For now, it appears Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez and Fabio Capello are the most likely candidates for the Liverpool job.

But as some former Reds stars have been pushing behind the scenes, FSG should make a pitch to Guardiola. They may be pleasantly surprised by his response.

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