Manchester United are considering a move for Pep Guardiola after boss Louis van Gaal reiterated his plans to step down from Old Trafford when his contract expires.
The Dutch coach signed a three-year deal last year and has spent around £300 million on new players already. He was able to lead the club back into the Champions League last term but fans have voiced their concerns about his style of play.
The former Barcelona coach has installed former midfielder Ryan Giggs as his number two and it was expected that the Welshman would take up the reins in 2017, however the Mirror claim that the powers that be at Manchester United have other ideas.
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The paper claim that Guardiola, who is yet to commit his future to Bayern Munich before his contract expires next year, is on the list of potential replacements for Van Gaal.
“It would be difficult to see this team reach its potential because that would mean I would have to stay," Van Gaal told reporters when asked about his future.
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“You have seen what I have said about that - and I always do the things I have said. I am a trainer-coach who believes in youth and I believe I have a very good eye for young talent.
"Of course, it is easier to buy the big stars, but the big stars can also fail — as we have seen last year [when United bought Angel Di Maria for a British record £59.7m only to sell him to Paris Saint-Germain after one season]. And that is why I have always said you have to invest in young players.
"Okay, I know they are not ready yet, but that is why I have said that this team is more for my successor than for myself."
So far this season, Manchester United have failed to find their best form and, although they recorded a 3-1 win over fierce rivals Liverpool last weekend, they fell to a shock mid-week defeat in the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven.
Having splashed the cash in the summer window on the likes of Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay, Van Gaal insists he is building for the future - even if he isn't the one to reap the rewards.
"When you see my career, you can see that a lot of youngsters came through to be the guardians of the culture of the club once I had left. That is important.
"When I was left Barcelona, Xavi became the captain, then Iniesta was captain. There was also Valdes and for 10 years they were the backbone of the club and the culture.
"In Munich now there is Muller, Alaba, Badstuber. It is the same as Barcelona. Schweinsteiger was another player, but now he has come here, it is the other three who are the guardians of the culture. Maybe when I am gone from United, Shaw will be the guardian of the culture, or Januzaj, or Martial."
Manchester United take on Southampton in the Premier League later today.