The only thing we know about what's in Pep Guardiola
's future is that he won't return to Bayern Munich next season. The conventional wisdom is that he'll join Manchester City. After all,
Guardiola has said he'd like to coach in England, and Man City is the richest club in England. But what if he didn't choose Man City but instead picked rival Manchester United?
possibility took on legs with a report by France Football
that Manchester United
officials met with Guardiola in Paris last week. The story even mentioned a location: the famous Bristol Hotel on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. There was only one problem with the story:
Manchester United denied the meeting took place.
United's current manager is the unpopular Louis van Gaal
, who at the end of December appeared on his way out at Old Trafford. But
since a 2-0 loss to Stoke City on Boxing Day, United is unbeaten in its last five games. A 1-0 win at Liverpool on Sunday left United only seven points behind leaders Arsenal and Leicester City and
van Gaal proclaiming that the Red Devils could still lift the EPL trophy.
There have been suggestions that van Gaal would be ready to walk at the end of the season, and no one at Old
Trafford would seem to be unhappy if that happened. The feeling has been that Guardiola would be headed to Man City and with him unavailable United would have no choice but to sign Jose
as manager. But who would you rather have as your manager, Guardiola or Mourinho?
Former United star Gordon McQueen
said his former club must pull out all the
stops to sign Guardiola.
“Imagine if Guardiola goes to City and they sign Lionel Messi
[who played for the Spaniard at Barcelona]," McQueen said last week
. "That would devastate United. They might as well turn the lights out at Old Trafford
-- that would be the ultimate nightmare. That’s why United have to go all out to get Guardiola, whatever it costs. United have the money, so just pay it!
Guardiola remains coy about
his future plans, but he admits he doesn't like all the bother and how it might affect others, including van Gaal, who coached him at the end of his 11-year playing career at Barcelona.
"It was not my intention to offend anybody," he said. "Normally in my career as a coach and as a player, I respect my colleagues a lot."