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Monday 23 October 2017

Guardiola 'could see himself coaching United'

Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola would relish the chance to take charge of Manchester United, according to a newly-released book chronicling his debut season with the German giants.

Guardiola ended a highly successful tenure at Barcelona in 2012, after winning 14 trophies in four years, and took the top job with Bayern last year following a 12-month sabbatical.

According to several national newspapers, in Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola's First Season at Bayern Munich, his close friend and journalist Marti Perarnau wrote that Guardiola expressed his desire to manage United in 2011.

"I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day," Guardiola is reported to have told personal assistant Manel Estiarte as they watched United beat Schalke at Old Trafford in the Champions League.

In the event, Guardiola was eventually tempted by Bayern, with the Spaniard uttering a similar desire to manage at the Allianz Arena.

He had already agreed to take over at Bayern in January 2013 before Sir Alex Ferguson announced his intentions to stand down after 26 and a half years at the helm of United a few months later.

It was reported that the Red Devils made overtures towards the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder following David Moyes' sacking earlier this year, but they instead appointed veteran Dutch boss Louis van Gaal.

"From the start Pep was well disposed to the overtures from the Bavarian club," Perarnau added.

"Pep liked the set-up at Sabener Strasse (Bayern's training complex), despite the fact that it was smaller than Barca's training ground and had fewer technical facilities.

"The Catalan was impressed and told Manel Estiarte privately: 'I like this place. 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."

Guardiola also turned down approaches from United's Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea to take charge at Bayern, according to the book.

"During his sabbatical year in New York, the job offers poured in," Perarnau wrote.

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