Pep Guardiola 'would like to manage Manchester United'
New book about Bayern Munich boss says he 'can see himself' coaching at Old Trafford
Bayern Munich coach and former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has admitted he would one day like to take up the reins at Manchester United. The Spaniard makes the claim in his new book, Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola's First Season at Bayern Munich, written with the aid of friend and journalist Marti Perarnau.
Guardiola left Barcelona at the end of the 2011-12 season after a glorious spell in charge that included two Champions League titles, and after a 12 month sabbatical, during which there was talk of him taking the United job, the 43-year-old was unveiled as Bayern Munich's new coach for the 2013-14 season, just a couple of months after the German giants had won the Champions League crown under Jupp Heynckes.
Though Guardiola couldn't repeat the European success with Bayern in his first season, they nonetheless ran away with the Bundesliga title and the book chronicles that campaign, while also disclosing one or two facts of interest to English football fans.
It describes how Guardiola accepted the offer to take over at Bayern after being seduced by the club's superb training facilities. Perarnau says he told his assistant Manuel Estiarte in private that he would love to be in charge at Bayern. But he adds: "Pep had said something very similar a few months before, at Manchester United. The day after beating Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final, Guardiola and Estiarte travelled to Manchester to watch their next opponents in action.
"It was 4 May 2011, and the pair sat together in the stands of Old Trafford watching Sir Alex Ferguson's team beat Schalke 4-1. Once again Pep had turned to his friend and said: 'I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day.'"
The Guardian says the claims "will not go unnoticed at Old Trafford" despite the fact Louis van Gaal is only three months into his three-year contract with United. The paper adds that the club "did make overtures towards the Spaniard" after the dismissal of David Moyes in April but were informed Guardiola intended to honour his contract that expires in 2016.
Meanwhile the book also alleges that Chelsea and Manchester City both approached Guardiola in 2012. "During his sabbatical year in New York, the job offers poured in," writes Perarnau. "His ex-colleague, Txiki Begiristain, the director of football at Manchester City, was very insistent. He also met up in Paris with Roman Abramovich, who was prepared to do anything to lure Pep to Chelsea... Within a few months Pep, had chosen Bayern."