Nou Camp hero wants Old Trafford job.
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Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola will resist any potential future approach from Chelsea – because he wants to work alongside Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Guardiola’s future is clouded in doubt as he is already in the final year of his three-season deal at the Nou Camp and has yet to settle on new terms to stay in Catalonia.
But the man who ended Fergie’s dream of a third European Cup by masterminding a final victory over him in Rome 18 months ago has told friends he wants to take over when the Scot calls time on his Old Trafford reign.
The former Spain and Barcelona midfielder has been linked with a possible move to Chelsea to replace Carlo Ancelotti if the Italian leaves his role at Stamford Bridge.
That comes in the wake of the looming departure of sporting director Frank Arnesen, with former Barca counterpart Txiki Begiristain, who left the Spanish champions at the start of the year, in the frame to replace the Dane.
Guardiola’s agent, Josep Maria Orobitg, has briefed in Spain that he has received approaches from a number of agents, including one claiming to be representing Chelsea, to see if the Nou Camp chief wants to move.
Guardiola, who could still sign a new one-year deal but could opt to take a 12-month sabbatical at the end of the season, has told friends he is not keen on Italy, where Inter Milan would be an obvious option if Rafa Benitez is dispensed with.
The Barca boss, however, is said to have entertained the concept of taking over the United hotseat, although he would want Fergie to stay around the club as a mentor.
A Barcelona source said last night: “It seems that Pep really would be keen on working with Sir Alex, if that was possible. It would allow him to come to terms with England under the guidance of the best.” (Daily Mirror)
Interesting that this news should be reported on by The Daily Mirror just a matter of a few hours after Barcelona trounced Real Madrid. Could such speculation have any basis in fact though? It seems that Pep Guardiola is something of a reluctant hero. The Nou Camp boss has been working on a series of very short term deals at the Catalan club and does on one hand appear to be someone who doesn’t really want to being a manager for a long term spell but now this source believes that the former midfielder wants Sir Alex Ferguson’s job.
The 39 year old has been astonishingly successful during his two and a bit seasons as Barcelona manager and clearly offers for his services will be in high demand and whilst Manchester United will not want to contemplate a future without Ferguson clearly there will come a time when the Scot will step down and there will be few better men to replace him than Guardiola.
Sir Alex is heading towards completing 25 years in the Old Trafford hotseat and perhaps if he clinches the Premier League title this season and therefore overhauls Liverpool’s total of domestic league successes, then talk of a new man at the Man United helm could become a more realistic possibility.
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