Manchester United chief Ed Woodward remains hopeful of stealing Pep Guardiola from under the noses of rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, according to the Daily Mail.
The Spanish boss will quit his role at Bayern Munich at the end of the season after three years, and has sparked a race for his signature amongst the Premier League elite ahead of this summer.
Reports from Germany yesterday claimed that City already had a deal in place with the former Barcelona manager that would make him the best paid boss on the planet.
However the Daily Mail claim this morning that Woodward and the Manchester United board will make their move to sign Guardiola, and believe his deal with Manchester City isn't quite over the line. As it stands, Woodward is reluctant to fire current Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal, however his future hangs in the balance following a run of just three wins in their last 13 games.
It had been reported earlier this week that the Dutchman was close to losing his job and that could still happen if results don't go his way over Christmas - but for the time being his job his safe.
That hasn't stopped Woodward making contingency plans and landing Guardiola ahead of Manchester City would send shockwaves through English football. However, the fact that both Manchester United and Chelsea may not be able to guarantee Champions League football next season could put Manchester City in the driving seat.
Jose Mourinho remains in the hunt to take over at Old Trafford after being let go by Chelsea last week, although there are rumours that the powers that be in Manchester are concerned about his temperament and the way in which his time at Stamford Bridge came to an end.
Van Gaal appeared to be feeling the pressure yesterday after he stormed out of his pre-match press conference having answered just three questions, following a week of speculation over his job.
“You have to stick by the facts and when I get calls from Ed Woodward, Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill, because you are creating something that is not good," he said. "That is not being the facts, and now I have to answer questions. I don't think I want to do it.
“I am focused on Stoke City. I wish you a merry Christmas I wish you a Merry Christmas and also maybe a Happy New Year when I see you. Enjoy the wine and a mince pies.”