Guardiola suggests possible reason Ferguson didn't choose him…

Guardiola Close Up

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola met with the press ahead of the Bundesliga champions’ visit to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Tuesday night.

The Spanish boss of the German champions was more than complimentary about his opponents on Tuesday night, English champions Manchester United with whom he had been linked with prior to the retirement of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson after 26 years in charge.

However, the 43-year-old former Barcelona player and manager was keen to stress he had not been approached to take over from Ferguson prior to the appointment of current boss David Moyes.

"My English is not so good and Sir Alex spoke quickly, so sometimes I have a problem understanding him,” he explained.

"That's why maybe I didn't understand if I received an offer or not! No, it was a friendly dinner, he was very gentle with me. He always talks with me like a coach and we spent a very good time together."

Guardiola epitomises grace and class in his praise and admiration of his colleagues and fellow professional – he has spoken this term of his respect for Ferguson, Moyes and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger but his diplomacy with handling potentially difficult questions from the media is evidenced most aptly here. His insistence he was not approached for the job with the Red Devils who are currently undergoing a disappointing season which has seen Moyes come under fire from all directions.

The Bayern Munich coach who took over from Jupp Heyneckes at the European champions has won all the top honours as both a player and coach – he took Barcelona to the treble in 2010/11 winning the La Liga title, Copa del Rey, and Champions League titles with the club he spent 18 years with as a player from the age of 12 and five years as a coach and manager.

Under the current circumstances, with the season David Moyes has endured at Old Trafford, there are other lesser professionals who could and would have taken the opportunity to undermine their opponent ahead of a crucial Champions League quarter-final clash with ‘mind games’ and it’s not only refreshing but also a fine example to young players and coaches of how to answer a cumbersome question about whether you were offered your opponent’s job.

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