Manchester United have ruled out reports claiming that they had an emergency meeting with Pep Guardiola in Paris last week as they look to swoop for the former Barcelona manager.
Earlier French broadcast journalist Thierry Marchand made the unexpected claims on television show L’Equipe du Soir that the Old Trafford outfits are still hopeful to of steal the Bayern Munich boss from under the noses of arch rivals Manchester City.
The meeting reportedly took place at the Hotel Bristol on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore with senior United officials, but Manchester United have strongly denied this is the case.
Earlier this week MirrorSport claimed Louis van Gaal might step down from the managerial post at the end of the season, a year before the end of his contract with Manchester United, as family members are forcing him to walk away amid increasing pressure at Old Trafford and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho remains the front runner to replace him.
Interestingly, United legend Gordon McQueen also revealed last week that he wants to see Guardiola making a move for Old Trafford, and said the Red Devils should pursue the Bayern boss even if it costs them £20million-a-season.
“Imagine if Guardiola goes to City and they sign Lionel Messi [who played for the Spaniard at Barcelona],” he said. “That would devastate United. They might as well turn the lights out at Old Trafford – that would be the ultimate nightmare
“That’s why United have to go all out to get Guardiola, whatever it costs. United have the money, so just pay it!
“The Van Gaal way just isn’t working for anyone and although I understand it’s in United’s thoughts to promote [Van Gaal No 2 and club legend] Ryan Giggs and give him a go, if Guardiola is available they owe it to the fans to have a conversation with him.
“For me, Guardiola has proved himself the best in the business.
“If he wants £20m a year, give it him. The money shouldn’t be an issue.
“If Ed Woodward doesn’t try to persuade him to make United great again, then he isn’t doing his job properly.
“That’s the manager the majority of fans would want and I still believe United have the history, tradition and global presence to be attractive to Guardiola.
“If City got Guardiola, I’m certain it would seriously damage morale at United. City are already ahead of United in terms of their squad and Guardiola would only make them better.”
Guardiola has already confirmed he has lots of offers from the Premier League, with many suggesting a deal for the Spaniard to replace Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City is all-but signed and done deal.
The former Barcelona boss has even admitted he was wrong to reveal publicly that he would manage in Premier League next season, issuing an apology to all the managers who have come under pressure after his announcement earlier this month.
Some reports suggest the leak of this latest information about Guardiola’s alleged meeting with United officials, even if it is false, is a tactics to notify that the Spaniard is still looking to offers from rival EPL clubs, despite the suspicion that he will finally join Manchester City.