Ex-defender Ferdinand urges Man U to sign Guardiola

London, Dec 19 (IANS) Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has urged English Premier League (EPL) giants Manchester United to make a move for current Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola, whose contract with Bayern ends later this season, has been widely tipped to join Manchester City next summer.

Manchester United have struggled this season under manager Louis van Gaal. They have crashed out of the Champions League at the group stages and lost to EPL strugglers Bournemouth in their last domestic match.

Van Gaal’s tactics have been questioned by critics and Ferdinand feels that Guardiola is the perfect candidate to replace the Dutchman at Old Trafford.

“The thing with Manchester United is that he will go to one Premier League team and won’t be going to another (after that). There is one chance — you have one chance to get him. He won’t go to Manchester City and then to United; he’s not going to go to Chelsea and then United. It won’t happen, so you’ve got one chance to get the best manager on the planet,” Ferdinand was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

Ferdinand, who made 455 appearances for United between 2002 and 2014, has been a fierce critic of van Gaal’s tactics and asserted that Guardiola would be an improvement on the 64-year-old former Holland manager.

“Is (Guardiola) better than what they’ve got? That’s what Man United and City should be asking. If the answer is yes then you go for it, surely. It’s like with the best players in the world — if someone like Ronaldo or Messi becomes available, everyone is interested. I don’t think it’s different with a great manager,” he said.

“The best manager in the world is definitely Guardiola and when he becomes available people are going to be interested, and I think United are no different.”

Guardiola has had a successful managerial career with three La Liga, two Bundesliga and two Champions League titles with Barcelona and Bayern and Ferdinand feels that he will be a perfect fit at United.

“Every manager on the planet, probably bar the man at Manchester City, would love the Man United job. It’s a huge job. Especially now, it’s a job where, if you go in and do well, you’ll be seen as a hero — someone who has turned it around. It’s a tantalising job. It’s a job where you could create something with legacy. That’s what Pep Guardiola likes to do,” Ferdinand said.

“But he’s got options. People talk about Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal. It’s not going to be easy.”

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