The managerial merry-go-round could be starting in Manchester at the end of next season, with Louis van Gaal likely to retire.
Stepping into the Old Trafford hot seat would be a daunting prospect for any manager, but there’s one boss who could make the role his own.
Pep Guardiola’s contract at Bayern Munich expires this summer and the former-Barcelona man is known to prefer short stints at clubs, meaning he is unlikely to carry on in Germany.
Rumours coming out today suggest that Guardiola could take a year-long hiatus after his Bayern exit, the end of which would coincide perfectly with Van Gaal’s departure.
If this is the case, the 44-year-old has to be favourite for the United job, snubbing long-time pursuers Manchester City in the process.
Picking one of the Mancunian giants over the other would be a difficult choice for many, but for Guardiola it is clear.
The red side of the divide would suit him best because of the superior European calibre they possess compared to their noisy neighbours.
Barcelona met Man Utd twice in the Champions League final during Guardiola’s tenure, whereas the Citizens have never made it past the round of 16 and this will demonstrate to the two-time winner of Europe’s biggest prize that Old Trafford is more likely to fulfil his European ambitions.
Furthermore, the 2014 book Pep Confidential outlined the former-midfielder’s admiration for ‘legendary’ teams, with the Red Devils listed as one of those that fit that criteria.
Marti Perarnau, the author of the work detailing Pep’s first season in Germany, revealed that the manager was impressed when he visited Old Trafford in 2011 and saw himself managing there one day.
Thus, despite City’s rapid progression, domestic success and continuing improvements to the infastructure of the club, they won’t be able to match their rival’s standing in Europe for a long time and this could be enough to see Guardiola head to Man Utd.