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Pep talk - Manchester batle for Guardiola

MANCHESTER United will have to do battle with Manchester City if they want Pep Guardiola to succeed Alex Ferguson as Old Trafford main man.

City are closing in on a deal which would team Guardiola's right-hand man at Barcelona, Txiki Begiristain, with former Camp Nou vice-president and current Eastlands CEO Ferran Soriano.

The move is seen as the next step in Manchester City's ambition to replace faltering Roberto Mancini with the hottest ticket in world football.

However, there is strong evidence to suggest that Manchester United have already met up with Guardiola (left) and have targeted him as the man to replace Ferguson.

Spanish media outlets reported that the current United boss and Guardiola met in New York during the summer but it has now emerged that CEO David Gill and a member of the Glazer family were also present at the meeting.

Ferguson (right) is now thought to have a strong preference for Guardiola, who is currently living in New York after taking a year out of football.