Pep Guardiola has such a huge reputation within football, it is simply assumed that the vast majority of clubs would remove their current manager to make room for the Spaniard.
Indeed, Manchester City are widely expected to do just that with Manuel Pellegrini if Guardiola agrees to leave Bayern Munich next summer. However, according to widespread reports today, the same cannot be said of Manchester United.
The Guardian and the Sun on Sunday have both run very similar stories today, insisting that Old Trafford officials are fully prepared to snub Guardiola in favour of their current manager Louis van Gaal.
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Guardiola's contract at Bayern Munich expires at the end of the season and with it appears more likely with every passing day that he will depart after a two-year spell in charge. Manchester is the most likely destination, but up until now there has been little suggestion whether it would be the blue or red side.
But United have essentially given Van Gaal a vote of confidence today, claiming they would not end his three-year contract early for Guardiola. Of course, the situation would change if United, say, failed to finish in the top four, but barring any disasters between now and the end of the season, Van Gaal will be given a third season with the Red Devils.
That would essentially mean handing Guardiola to Manchester City, who have reportedly been courting the former Barcelona manager for some time. That would not be acceptable to a lot of Manchester United fans, who, despite favouring stability, are growing tired of life under Van Gaal.
Manchester United failed to score once again in yesterday's game against West Ham United, in what was their fifth 0-0 result in their last nine games. The chant 'attack, attack, attack' has become a common sound at Old Trafford and Van Gaal only irked his own fans further by criticising them for singing it.
There are also reports that players are fed up with the relentless training regime Van Gaal has installed. They are not playing anywhere near the entertaining football that they grew their reputation on and it is thought the double sessions, coupled with three-hour tactical meetings, are leaving them too exhausted to perform on matchdays.
Guardiola, of course, is synonymous with 'total football' and would certainly champion a free-flowing, attacking game. That is why fans may be more than happy to do what the United board are seemingly not – swap Van Gaal for Guardiola.
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