Pep Guardiola 'almost joined United' reveals Fergie ally

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Pep Guardiola would be a good fit for Manchester United - the club he almost joined as a player - according to Wigan manager Roberto Martinez.

With Sir Alex Ferguson entering into the twilight of his illustrious career at Old Trafford, reports continue to speculate who will succeed the Scot when he eventually retires.

Guardiola is thought to be one of the leading candidates to take the reins at Old Trafford - as is Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho - and Martinez believes it won't be long until the former leaves the Nou Camp for England.

“It is not going to be longer than two years ­before Guardiola is in the Premier League and, by that time, I think Mourinho will be here, too," said Martinez.

“I can’t see Pep staying too much longer at Barcelona because he can’t do anything else there. He has won ­absolutely everything.

“Would it be United? Maybe ­because United and Barcelona share a ­philosophy about the way the game should be played.

“He would be a good fit for Old ­Trafford after Sir Alex but if they look for a proven winner you cannot ignore Mourinho either.


“I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson will have a big say in who’s going to be the next Man United manager and he will have complete control of when that is going to happen."

Martinez, a good friend of Guardiola, has also revealed that the Spaniard came close to joining United during his playing days, but instead opted to join Brescia.

“He loves the Premier League. He speaks perfect English, too, and at one stage as a player ­everything was done for him to join Manchester United, ­although the transfer fell through," he added.

“Pep is a very sensitive person and when he won the Champions League with Barcelona in 1992 he fell in love a little with Wembley and the tradition and the history of what it meant.

“He started to ­develop a love of the English game. I’m sure when he left Barcelona he was very close to signing for Manchester United but went to Italy instead."

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