Man Utd confirm again they will NOT recruit Pep Guardiola

Guardiola turned down advances to succeed Alex Ferguson at Man Utd in 2013
Guardiola turned down advances to succeed Alex Ferguson at Man Utd in 2013

Manchester United have again moved to end speculation that they are in the race to recruit Pep Guardiola as their next manager.

United were unequivocal in their stance that Guardiola was not a candidate to succeed current boss Louis van Gaal at the start of December, as they retain faith in the Dutchman who has a contract to remain as manager at Old Trafford until the summer of 2017.

Reports last month had suggested that United opened talks with Guardiola's representatives, but they have conclusively been denied by Old Trafford officials, who have stressed that the two-time Champions League winner is not on their radar.

The latest comments from Old Trafford chiefs - as reported by the Manchester Evening News and others - cements the belief that they are distancing themselves from any move for Guardiola.

The Spaniard confirmed on Tuesday that he was leaving Bayern Munich to take up a role in England, with Arsenal and Chelsea also linked with the former Barcelona boss.

Yet it seems increasingly probable that he has already agreed to become City manager, which would explain why rivals clubs are not keen to be linked with his services.

News that Guardiola will not be going to Manchester United will disappoint some of the club's supporters, who had hoped the Spaniard could be lured to Old Trafford to replace the increasingly unpopular Van Gaal.

A slump in results for United in recent weeks appeared to put Van Gaal on the brink of the sack in late December, but the veteran Dutchman appears to have ridden out the storm as United prepare for this weekend's FA Cup tie against Sheffield United.

With Guardiola set to arrive at City in a few months time, Van Gaal will now be under pressure to deliver success to United this season, with sacked Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho still an option to take over at Old Trafford next summer.