According to reports in a new book chronicling Pep Guardiola’s title-winning campaign at Bayern Munich last season, the Spanish manager wants to one day manage Manchester United.
Written by Marti Perarnau the book is a behind-the-scenes look at Guardiola’s debut campaign in Munich and in it Guardiola admits to being taken with United while watching Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United back in 2011.
“I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day,” Guardiola is reported to have said.
Having agreed in December 2012 to manage Munich, Guardiola would not have been considered as a replacement for Ferguson. Instead, that consideration went to then-Everton manager David Moyes, who lasted nine months at the post before being fired. Guardiola is currently contracted at Bayern through 2016 while Louis van Gaal, who made Guardiola his captain while managing Barcelona, looks set for the long haul at Old Trafford.
Nevertheless, the news is certain to whet the appetite of United supporters. Perarnau writes:
“Pep liked the setup at Säbener Strasse (Bayern’s training facility) despite the fact it was smaller than Barça’s training ground and had fewer technical facilities.
“The Catalan was impressed and told [his personal assistant] Manuel Estiarte privately: ‘I like this place. I could see myself coaching here one day. 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.’ Guardiola has always felt a deep admiration, almost veneration, for the legendary teams and players of Europe.”
Perarnau goes on to note that Manchester City, Chelsea and AC Milan all reached out to Guardiola during his sabbatical year with interest in hiring him.