Sir Alex Ferguson wants Pep Guardiola to replace him as manager at Manchester United, according to ESPN.

The 41-year-old Spaniard has been out of work after leaving Barcelona in the summer, walking away from the Nou Camp with three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies during a four-year period.

AC Milan, Chelsea and Bayern Munich have since been linked with a move for the former defensive midfielder, but now the Red Devils have set their sights on Guardiola as a future replacement for Ferguson.

ESPN goes on to claim that Manchester United chief executive David Gill and a member of the Glazer family have already held talks with the ex-Brescia star. Whilst the talks were ‘informal’, discussions over the future at Old Trafford took place.

Jose Mourinho has constantly been linked as a candidate to replace the legendary Scot in the past, but the Real Madrid boss now appears likely to miss out to his great rival because of a perceived short-term approach from part of the club's hierarchy.

The claim comes just days after Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward spoke about life after Ferguson, admitting that the club already had an idea on who would replace the 70-year-old.

"We have a view as to what type of manager we want and how and when we'll go about it. But it's in the drawer and long may it stay in the drawer," he said on Tuesday.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: