Manchester United were told in September that Pep Guardiola had a gentleman’s agreement to take over at Manchester City, according to the Sunday People.
United have so far stuck by Louis van Gaal despite the availability of Jose Mourinho, but ‘investigating a move for Guardiola was seen as a sensible back-up strategy’, the newspaper says.
However, their investigations led Ed Woodward to believe that pursuing Guardiola would be a waste of time and lead to potential embarrassment, with the Spaniard already set on joining City when he leaves Bayern Munich.
Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes has denied a report in the Independent on Sunday that the Portuguese had written a six-page letter outlining why he should replace Van Gaal at Old Trafford, but it is claimed support for the former Chelsea manager is growing among the United hierarchy.
However, the newspaper says there is still a ‘considerable faction’ at the club opposed to his appointment, with reasons ranging from his regular controversies, his style of football and his failure to nurture young talent.
The Daily Star Sunday also claimed the United board is split on whether or not to appoint Mourinho, with ‘one influential voice at the club’ believing the 52-year-old should finally get the chance to manage the club.