Saturday 25 March 2017

Man United deny meeting Pep Guardiola in Paris hotel for talks over manager's job

Pep Guardiola wishes to move to England when he leaves Bayern Munich this summer
Pep Guardiola wishes to move to England when he leaves Bayern Munich this summer
Diego Simeone and his team are growing as they compete against the world’s biggest clubs. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United have moved swiftly to deny a report that they staged a meeting with Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola in Paris last week.

Journalist Thierry Marchand claimed on French TV show L’Equipe du Soir that Guardiola spoke with United officials at a Parisian hotel, despite widespread reports that he has already agreed to take over as Manchester City boss next season.

Diego Simeone and his team are growing as they compete against the world’s biggest clubs. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Diego Simeone and his team are growing as they compete against the world’s biggest clubs. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Yet this meeting has been strongly denied by United, who have confirmed once again that they have no interest in pursuing Guardiola ahead of his move to England next summer.

Guardiola has confirmed he has offers to move to England’s top flight, with many believing a deal for him to replace Manuel Pellegrini at City is all-but signed and sealed.

The Spanish tactician has admitted he made a mistake to state publicly that he would manage in the Premier League next season and he issued an apology to managers who have come under pressure following his announcement earlier this month.

It may be that the leak of this information - even if it is false - is a ploy to suggest that Guardiola is still open to offers from rival clubs, despite the suspicion that he will end up at City.

The latest developments cement the belief that Guardiola is highly unlikely to replace Louis van Gaal as United manager, with the latest word coming out of Old Trafford following a consistent line that has seen them persistently deny any interest in hiring Guardiola.

United continue to publicly back under-pressure boss Van Gaal, even though reports emerged earlier this week suggesting he may be considering moving forward his retirement plans by a year and quitting at the end of this season.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino have been mentioned as contenders to replace Van Gaal, with the future of the United manager likely to be dictated by his side’s performances and results in the final few months of this season.

As departed United manager David Moyes discovered to his cost, failure to qualify for the Champions League is sackable offence and the decision over Van Gaal’s future may be taken out of his hands if he fails to secure a top four finish this season.

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