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The Spaniard is contracted at City until the end of next season but has faced speculation that he could leave the club at the end of this campaign.
Per Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail, the former Barcelona boss said of his future: “After training City I won’t train United. It is like I would never train Real Madrid. Definitely not. I’ll be in the Maldives if I don’t have any offers. Maybe not the Maldives because it doesn’t have any golf courses.”
According to Gaughan, Guardiola had dinner with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2012 to discuss the possibility of taking over at Old Trafford.
Ferguson retired the following year and was replaced by David Moyes, while Guardiola went to Bayern Munich.
Given how the Red Devils have fared since the Scot called time on his storied career in 2013, it is likely a source of great regret that Guardiola did not take his place.
The 48-year-old was promoted from Barcelona B to first-team coach in 2008. He took a 12-month sabbatical upon leaving the club in 2012, then had three years at Bayern Munich from 2013 until he moved to City in 2016.
During his relatively short time as a manager, he’s won an enormous amount:
His honours include eight league titles—from a possible 10—and two UEFA Champions Leagues.
The lowest points total one of his teams has achieved is 78, which City accrued in his first season at the Etihad, and they’ve taken 90 or more points on six occasions.
Such is the high standard he’s set, this season—in which they trail Liverpool by 14 points—is already being judged a failure:
As for United, since 2013 they’ve managed just two top-four finishes in the Premier League, exceeding 70 points once. They’ve not entirely been without silverware, having picked up an FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
It is not just Guardiola’s incredible trophy haul United have missed out on, though. The two longest-serving managers they’ve had since Ferguson retired, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, have won a great many honours in their respective careers but neither will be remembered too fondly.
What the Red Devils have perhaps missed out on most of all is the incredible football his sides play. Excitement and entertainment have been rare commodities at Old Trafford.
United’s best Premier League goal tally since 2013 is 68, while Guardiola’s teams have never scored fewer than 80.
When Guardiola does leave City, whether it’s this season, next season or after an extended stay at the club beyond 2021, it will be a difficult day for their supporters, but at least they can rest assured knowing he won’t be joining their bitter rivals.