MANCHESTER United’s search for a new manager suffered twin blows yesterday when two of the world’s most coveted coaches, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, both ruled themselves out of the running.
Barely had the sacking of David Moyes 10 months into his six-year contract been confirmed yesterday morning than Klopp had declared his own deal with Borussia Dortmund until 2018 to be “unbreakable”.
And just hours later his Bundesliga rival, former Barcelona boss Guardiola, followed suit, insisting he would fulfil the remaining two years of his commitment to Bayern Munich.
It leaves Holland head coach Louis van Gaal the clear early favourite to replace Moyes, though former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, now of Real Madrid, and Paris Saint- Germain’s Laurent Blanc have also been linked. Long-serving player-coach Ryan Giggs has been placed in temporary charge for United’s remaining four games of the season, though he is not thought to be under consideration for the permanent position.
United were thought keen to land Guardiola last year, but Bayern beat the world’s top clubs to his signature and the Catalan has already delivered them the German league title.
“I signed for three years. I am here, I am Bayern’s and I want to stay here for two more years to do my job,” said the man who won 14 trophies in four years at Barcelona.
“I want to stay here because I am comfortable here, the people are such gentlemen in my work and I want to stay a little bit longer. We won the Bundesliga but I feel that we can still improve. I still have a job to do.
“I knew the style of Spanish football perfectly but it was not easy for me to go to Germany and change culture and the style.
“I feel like I need more time to feel that this is really my team. I absolutely do feel that Bayern is my team now but we can play better and in that sense I still have work to do.”
Klopp, whose resources at Dortmund pale in comparison to those at Guardiola’s disposal, had seemed perhaps a more attainable target but he too made clear he would not be moving to Old Trafford.
He said: “Manchester United is a great club and I feel very familiar with their wonderful fans.
But my commitment to Borussia Dortmund and the people is not breakable.”