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Pep Guardiola interested to be next Manchester United manager

977   //    27 Nov 2012, 08:56 IST

If recent media reports are to be believed, then the next Manchester United manager could be waiting in the wings. According to the English tabloid, The Sun, Pep Guardiola is currently interested in replacing Sir Alex Ferguson – once the 70-year-old manager of the Red Devils decides to retire. Guardiola is currently on a year’s sabbatical from the game and is currently residing in New York. The former FC Barcelona coach is said to be pursued by FC Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, even after the team recently hired Rafael Benitez as its manager. The hiring of Benitez by Abramovich is said to be a temporary one and that his true target is Guardiola. He hopes to get Guardiola to sign a full-time deal with the West London club starting next season.

However, it appears that Guardiola would rather manage rivals Manchester United. A source close to Guardiola was quoted by The Sun as saying that “The whole history of Manchester United, his relationship with Sir Alex and the way the club is run appeals to Pep. Right now I’d be astonished if he went to Chelsea. He really wants to wait for the United job even if it means extending his time out of the game.”

In addition to the quote from an anonymous source, there are reports that Fergie and Guardiola have been meeting in private in New York regarding an upcoming stint with United. There is speculation that Abramovich’s constant meddling with his squad has negatively influenced Guardiola’s perception of the Stamford Bridge job.

Guardiola is looking to be in control of his squad and does not want any owner interference. Abramovich is known for heavily influencing the style of play at Chelsea and job security there is nowhere near a given. The recent hiring of Benitez as interim chief made him the ninth manager of the squad in less then a decade.

Manchester United could also be in a bit of a better financial position to land Guardiola as well. The club recently signed a shirt-sponsorship deal with “bwin” and the extra cash boost could help the club in negotiations.

One really cannot blame Guardiola for wanting to hold out for the United job, especially considering Chelsea’s recent history with managers. With the increase speculation around Guardiola’s hire, one also must wonder if this is truly the beginning of the end for Sir Alex in Old Trafford, while Guardiola’s name is coming up at numerous clubs and federations.

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I've been reporting about football since 1998 - as founder of IndianFootball.Com, for other publications &amp; have also worked for radio &amp; television. You can follow me on my "Arunava About Football" blog <a href="">ArunFoot</a> &amp; on <a href="">Twitter</a>
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