Sir Alex Ferguson: Why I wanted Pep Guardiola to take over at Man United

Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the lid on Manchester United's failed pursuit of Pep Guardiola following his retirement

pep guardiola
Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola Photo: The Sport Review

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he wanted Pep Guardiola to succeed him at Manchester United but could not persuade him to take over at Old Trafford.

Ferguson called time on his decorated 26-year career at Old Trafford in the summer of 2013, with the Red Devils appointing David Moyes as the Scot’s successor at the club.

I asked Pep to phone me before he accepted an offer from another club, but he didn’t

Sir Alex Ferguson

The 73-year-old was directly involved in the process of selecting his successor and revealed that the likes of Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Louis van Gaal were all on his shortlist.

Guardiola was one of the top candidates to replace him at United, but Ferguson was unable to convince the Spaniard to move to Old Trafford and he ended up taking charge at Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013.

Ferguson is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph: “I had dinner with Pep Guardiola in New York in 2012, but couldn’t make him any direct proposal because retirement was not on my agenda at that point.

“He had already won an enviable number of trophies with Barcelona… and I admired him greatly. I asked Pep to phone me before he accepted an offer from another club, but he didn’t and wound up joining Bayern Munich in July 2013.”

Ferguson continued: “Life is such that the best of theories, or the best of intentions, sometimes don’t translate into practice.

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“Believe me, the United board wanted nothing more than to select a manager who would be with the club for a long time.

“When we started the process of looking for my replacement, we established that several very desirable candidates were unavailable. It became apparent that Jose Mourinho had given his word to Roman Abramovich that he would return to Chelsea, and that Carlo Ancelotti would succeed him at Real Madrid.

“We also knew that Jurgen Klopp was happy at Borussia Dortmund and would be signing a new contract. Meantime, Louis van Gaal had undertaken to lead the Dutch attempt to win the 2014 World Cup.”

Moyes was sacked after less than a year in charge of Manchester United after a run of 27 wins in 51 games.

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