Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola was his first choice, in a shortlist of managers that was produced as soon as he considered retiring from Man United.
The legendary manager reportedly told the Glazers of his decision in March 2013, and it now appears that there were five other managers ahead of David Moyes in the pipeline, with Pep Guardiola leading the way.
He revealead their names in his latest book on leadership called ‘Leading’ and recalled how every single one of them were eventually chalked off the list.
He writes: “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.
“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 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.”
WHAT DO WE THINK?
It’s a bit surprising really, that this has come out now. And it’s also equally surprising that United went from those five to David Moyes. It could be true, as Ferguson did rate Guardiola highly after the Spaniard’s impressive exploits with Barca (during which Fergie was often a victim in Champions League finals), but at the same time, you can’t help but feel that he’s maybe trying to distance himself from getting blamed for Moyes’ tenure. After all, Sir Alex often spoke very highly about the Everton manager, then.