Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has played down speculation linking him with Manchester United, revealing that he believes Sir Alex Ferguson will remain at the helm of the Premier League giants for many more years to come.
Ferguson recently stated that he intends to retire in three years’ time and Guardiola has long been mooted as a potential replacement.
However, the former Spain international believes that the legendary Scottish manager could again renege on his promise to retire.
“I am sure he [Ferguson] will decide the ideal person [to replace him],” Guardiola is quoted as saying by Marca. “But the important thing is he will go on for many more years yet.”
Guardiola’s future at Barca remains the subject of much debate, with the coach still reluctant to commit to a long-term contract with the club.
“The first person to know will be the president,” he said when pressed on his plans.
However, Guardiola is in no doubt that should he depart Camp Nou, current Athletic Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa would make a fine replacement.
“You know the opinion I have of him,” he said of the Argentine, with whom he spent much time discussing football before becoming a coach. “His ability is unquestionable.”
Guardiola served as Barcelona’s B team coach before taking charge of the senior side in 2008. Since assuming control of the club, he has led the Catalans to a staggering 13 titles.