Pep Guardiola has told friends that he could join Manchester United instead of Manchester City next summer, according to reports.
The Spanish manager has sparked a frenzy of speculation over who will be his next club after it was confiemd he would be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of this season.
Manchester City are understood to be leading the race, with Guardiola's relationship with executives Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, who worked with him at Barcelona, believed to be capable of swinging his decision in their favour.
However, Manchester City will have competition, with Chelsea seeking a new manager in the summer and even Arsenal mooted as a potential destination.
Manchester United though are considered to be their greatest rivals for Guardiola, with the Old Trafford club appearing increasingly likely to be in need of a new manager if the club continues on the same trajectory they are currently heading under Louis van Gaal.
It's claimed that Guardiola would be keen on any vacancy at Old Trafford, with the history and prestige of the club proving attractive.
The Daily Star quoted a source as saying: "Pep always found the club fascinating. He likes clubs with huge tradition and United certainly have this.
"He won't be short of options when it comes to deciding his next move and Manchester City are an ambitious club. But United could still prove to be the more attractive proposition."
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The Independent understands that current Manchester United manager Van Gaal will be dimissed if United lose either of their next two games, which are against Stoke and Chelsea.