Pep Guardiola has insisted he doesn’t remember being ‘offered’ the Manchester United job by Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2013.
The Scot retired after almost three decades in charge at Old Trafford and a collection of trophies unmatched by any other manager. He wrote in his book, ‘Leading’, in 2012 that he had dined with Guardiola in New York and discussed the possibility of the Spaniard taking over from him when he eventually did retire.
Ferguson has repeated that claim on a number of occasions. Guardiola, though, insisted ahead of his fourth Manchester derby in charge at United’s rivals City, that he remembers nothing of it.
“I know he has said that but I don’t remember,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.
“We spoke about life, about football of course, about the Premier League, but he never sent me a message under the table to say, ‘you know, maybe United’ or something like that.
“I remember, he spoke really fast, it was difficult to understand. It was nice because he chose an amazing restaurant and of course he paid!”
There have been many surprising turns since Ferguson retired. United were linked to Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho as well as Guardiola at the time, but ended up bringing in David Moyes from Everton.
That ended disastrously after less than a year, Louis van Gaal had a somewhat successful two-year period in charge as he won an FA Cup but ultimately to take United back to the title contenders.
Mourinho is now in charge, some would say the antithesis to Guardiola. But in reality, they share a similar drive for winning, endless passion for football and meticulous man-management and devotion to their jobs. Their style of plays differs, but they are similar characters. But it is Mourinho on the Old Trafford touchline now, not Guardiola, and he’s dragged the Reds back from where they had been left by Moyes and van Gaal.