Manchester United have moved to play down rumours that Pep Guardiola is being lined up to Sir Alex Ferguson.

The two managers met in New York this week, and reports in the Spanish media suggested Ferguson had flown to the Big Apple to discuss Guardiola potentially replacing the United boss at the end of this season.

But the Daily Express reports that Ferguson's meeting with the former-Barca boss was simply by chance, and that the actual reason for the Scot's visit was to watch fellow countryman Andy Murray win the US Open.

Guardiola quit Barcelona at the end of last season, handing over to his assistant Tito Vilanova after a hugely successful four years in charge at the Nou Camp.

And the Spaniard is one of the favourites, along with Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, to replace Ferguson at Old Trafford when the United boss decides to call time on his career.

Since leaving Catalonia, Guardiola has moved to New York, reportedly to improve his English in preparation for a job in the Premier League.

His record at Barcelona - his only top-level job in management - is impeccable, including three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues in a glorious four years.

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