Sir Alex Ferguson 'contacted' Pep Guardiola over Man Utd job as City future remains unsure

Sir Alex Ferguson wanted Pep Guardiola to phone him as the Man Utd role became available (Image: Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City boss, has quashed rumours of a potential move to Manchester United once his contract with City expires, despite previously hinting at the possibility.

The Spanish manager, who has secured six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and the coveted Champions League trophy with City since his transfer from Bayern Munich eight years ago, is currently in the final year of his contract. It’s widely speculated that Guardiola will bid farewell to the Etihad at the end of the 2024/25 season.

Prior to joining the Citizens, Guardiola admitted that he could envision himself managing at Old Trafford, following a phone call invitation from Sir Alex Ferguson to discuss the club. In his book Pep Confidential, Guardiola’s close friend and journalist Marti Perarnau quoted the manager as saying: “I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day.”

Pep Guardiola could leave Manchester City at the end of the season (Image: Getty Images)

“Pep liked the setup at Sabener Strasse (Bayern’s training facility) despite the fact it was smaller than Barca’s training ground and had fewer technical facilities. The Catalan was impressed and told [his personal assistant] Manuel Estiarte privately that things could work nicely for him.

“Pep had said something very similar a few months before, at Manchester United. The day after beating Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final, Guardiola and Estiarte travelled to Manchester to watch their next opponents in action. It was May 4, 2011, and the pair sat together in the stands of Old Trafford watching Sir Alex Ferguson’s team beat Schalke 4-1.”, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Guardiola had expressed his interest in managing Manchester United, admitting: ‘I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day.

In his book ‘Leading’, Ferguson shed light on his relationship with Guardiola during his last season at Old Trafford in 2011.

He wrote: “I had dinner with Pep Guardiola in New York in 2012, but couldn’t make him any direct proposal because retirement was not on my agenda at that point.”

Ferguson went on to add: “He had already won an enviable number of trophies with Barcelona and I admired him greatly. I asked Pep to phone me before he accepted an offer from another club, but he didn’t and wound up joining Bayern Munich in July 2013.”

In 2020, Guardiola made a strong pledge of allegiance to City over United, stating emphatically: “After training City I won’t train United.

“It is like I would never train Real Madrid. Definitely not. I’ll be in the Maldives if I don’t have any offers. Maybe not the Maldives because it doesn’t have any golf courses.”