Pep Guardiola had been on the wish list of many clubs for almost 12 months once it became apparent that he was not going to extend his contract with Bayern Munich. Guardiola had only moved to the German club in 2013, but his record at the Allianz Arena is certainly not as great as it should have been keeping in mind the successes he garnered during his stint at Barcelona.
The Spanish professional’s period with the La-Liga giants has become a kind of performance benchmark for the most sought after boss and is not expected to change when he steps into the shoes of Manuel Pellegrini.
Guardiola will replace the Chilean manager in the summer to get his first taste of the Premier League from within. The new boss is expected to turn Manchester City into a soccer powerhouse. The Citizens have world-class players like Sergio Aguero on-board, and the jigsaw will complete with the arrival of the former Barcelona manager. The city will now be the darling of the media, a position incidentally held by their arch rivals Manchester United for more than two decades.
However, it is yet to be seen if the much-hyped arrival of Guardiola will tilt the balance of power towards Man City. With Red Devils not doing well under Louis van Gaal, United hierarchy is under immense pressure to bring in a headline maker who can reverse the deteriorating performance trend of Old Trafford outfit. Certainly, the only name that flashes to mind with the required skills is of Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese tactician possesses an incredible ability to hit the headlines and win trophies at the same time.
Even though United remain in contention for a top four spot, it is looking certain that they would not company with Van Gaal in the summer if not earlier. The only thing that seems to be holding United at the moment is the lack of options available to replace the Dutchman. José Mourinho is one of the few quality options available, but is he a right fit for United?
Mourinho guarantees trophies and that this is of paramount importance to United now.
If United do hire Mourinho next season, then it would see one of the greatest managerial battles unfold on a regular basis in the Premier League. Guardiola and Mourinho have come up against each other on 15 occasions with the Spaniard coming out successful in seven matches compared with three of his Portuguese counterpart. These figures, though, tells only part of the story since it was against Guardiola when Mourinho suffered one of his worst defeats – 5-0 loss – as Real Madrid boss.
The two managers have an incredible desire to win trophies, but they only differ in their approach towards their objective. While Mourinho is ready to adopt any tactic that will hand him a victory in a game, Guardiola is more in-line with the Barcelona philosophy of beautiful and attacking football at all times.
On paper, Mourinho appears to be the better manager with 17 titles to his name compared with 14 of Guardiola. There is no arguing that these are two of the best managers in world football and seeing them go head-to-head in a huge derby will be nothing short of fascinating. A lot depends on United’s interest in Mourinho.