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Man Utd DENY meeting with Pep Guardiola

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Guardiola met with Alex Ferguson to discuss taking over at United back in 2012
Guardiola met with Alex Ferguson to discuss taking over at United back in 2012

Manchester United have strongly denied a report that they staged talks with outgoing Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola in Paris last week.

A French TV report claimed Guardiola met with United officials at a Parisian hotel last week, but those claims have been dismissed by Old Trafford chiefs who continue to insist they have no interest in hiring the former Barcelona manager.

United were keen to stress in the first week of December that Guardiola would not succeed Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford and they are sticking to that line amid a suspicion that the the two-time Champions League winner has already agreed a deal to take over at Manchester City.

Guardiola did stage a meeting with outgoing United boss Alex Ferguson back in 2012 as he discussed the possibility of taking over at Old Trafford, but that deal failed to materialise and now he looks destined to join their local rivals City.

The Spaniard has confirmed he has offers to move to England’s top flight, but he has admitted that he made a mistake to state publicly that he would manage in the Premier League next season and issued an apology to managers who have come under pressure following his announcement earlier this month.

United continue to publicly back under-pressure boss Van Gaal, even though reports emerged earlier this week suggesting he may be considering moving forward his retirement plans by a year and quitting at the end of this season.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino have been mentioned as contenders to replace Van Gaal, with the future of the United manager likely to be dictated by his side’s performances and results in the final few months of this season.

Failure to qualify for next season's Champions League is likely to bring down the curtain on the Van Gaal era at Old Trafford, while there are also doubts over his eagerness to continue in the job following a season of persistent criticism for the 64-year-old.