A report claims Manchester United are monitoring the situation of Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, with their managerial vacancy seemingly no closer to being filled.
Louis van Gaal was heavily tipped to take the post, and yet no announcement has yet been made, and contrasting reports continue as to just how likely it is that the Dutchman will replace David Moyes.
The Manchester Evening News claims United have been alerted to possible unease at the European champions, with Guardiola coming in for criticism following his side’s 5-0 Champions League elimination at the hands of Real Madrid.
But the simple fact is: if it comes down to a straight battle between the two men, surely the Dutchman would win out.
While he is considerably older than Guardiola – and would be a short-term fix rather than a legacy-defining appointment – van Gaal has the United mentality: of playing attacking football and bringing young players through the ranks.
He also has experience aplenty and can steady a rocking ship in considerable need of a wily old captain.
And then, after three or four years in charge, step forward Jurgen Klopp or Diego Simeone; because those are the young managers United should be considering further down the line; not Guardiola, whose pass-the-opposition-to-death approach works more often than not, but not always on the biggest of occasions.
Consider how Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side played against Chelsea last week compared with Guardiola’s Bayern. They still passed the ball with confidence, but there was incisiveness, excitement, exactly what United fans are crying out for.
Van Gaal will provide that in the short term before Klopp or Simeone could be approached with their current deals coming to an end and their minds perhaps in need of a new challenge.
Guardiola is not the answer for United. The very fact that his tactics are being questioned in Germany should be reason enough to accept that.