Manchester United look set to stand by and watch on as their local rivals Manchester City snap up one of the best managers on the planet.
On Tuesday current Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola confirmed he will be heading to the Premier League when his contract expires in Germany this summer.
[ MORE: Mourinho “frustrated with United ]
United, City and Chelsea have all been linked with offering Guardiola the job — the former Barcelona manager has confirmed he has offers on the table from English clubs — but it seems like one of those PL giants has now ruled themselves out of the race.
Despite their recent struggles it is understood that Manchester United will not chase Guardiola, 44, and replace Louis Van Gaal with the highly-regarded Spanish coach.
A report from the Manchester Evening News claims that “the Reds already believe Guardiola is going to rivals City at the Etihad and the deal is as good as done and are, therefore, not prepared to challenge the Blues.”
Well, with the bookmakers offering extremely short odds of around 1/5 on Guardiola becoming Man City’s next manager, it all seems to be slotting into place.
Various reports claimed that United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was planning to meet Guardiola this week about replacing Van Gaal in the summer but it seems increasingly likely that United have accepted their fate and that the man who won 14 trophies in four seasons at Barca from 2008-12 is heading to the Etihad. With City’s directors Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Sorriano previously working with Guardiola at Barcelona, they are said to be crucial in tempting Pep to try his luck in England.
As City’s Abu Dhabi owners continue to pump billions into the stadium, training ground and playing staff, Guardiola is deemed as the final piece of the jigsaw to cement their place among Europe’s elite.
Perhaps most importantly, it will also cement their status as the most ambitious and attractive club in Manchester. That’s a mantle United have held for decades but if City is allowed to hire Guardiola without a fight from their crosstown rivals then it will be a major coup and send out a major message about their intentions.