FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2011 file picture then Barcelona's coach Joseph Guardiola reacts during the Champions League Group H soccer match against Viktoria Pilsen in Prague, Czech Republic.German soccer club Bayern Munich says Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013 Pep Guardiola will become the club's coach in July on 3-year contract. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek,File)
Bayern Munich says it has hired Spanish sensation Pep Guardiola as its new coach starting next season.
The German club says the former Barcelona coach signed a contract through the end of the 2015-16 season.
Guardiola, 41, won 14 titles with Barcelona before stepping down last season. He replaces Jupp Heynckes, who told Bayern he wanted to end his career when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Guardiola said earlier this week that he would love to manage in England, an encouraging signal to the string of Premier League clubs constantly linked with the manager.
Guardiola is on a one-season break since leaving Barcelona last May after four successful seasons, and turned down English teams Chelsea and Manchester City, who The Guardian reports were interested in signing him.
Guardiola says "as a player, I couldn't realize my dream to play there. But I hope in the future, I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there."
In an interview to be shown Wednesday at the launch of celebrations marking the English Football Association's 150th anniversary, Guardiola says he's "always found English football very fascinating."
The move will take place at the end of the summer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.