Manchester United add Pep Guardiola’s special friend to manager shortlist
With just over three months left in the season, Manchester United are still looking for a permanent replacement for Ralf Rangnick, and have selected Pep Guardiola’s “close” friend.
Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola’s “special” buddy, has been considered by Manchester United in their quest for a new manager.
Guardiola is a major admirer of one of United’s targets, whom he has regarded as “one of the best managers he has ever seen.” The Red Devils are currently looking for a permanent successor to interim coach Ralf Rangnick.
Both Spaniards have won trebles with Barcelona and established their names on the managerial map after dominating at the Camp Nou, with Enrique’s triumph in 2015 following Guardiola’s triumph in 2009.
Despite Enrique shutting down chatter after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was ousted in November, asking a reporter whether it was April Fool’s Day, ESPN reports that Enrique is being considered by the Red Devils.
Enrique would be a difficult target to obtain given his commitment to the Spanish national team until after the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year, but United are thought to be open to ‘exploring’ the prospect.
According to Mirror Football, United’s players are hoping for ex-Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino to be appointed, while Rangnick believes Ajax’s Erik ten Hag would be a suitable fit.
They would, however, have the support of Manchester City’s manager if they chose Enrique, as Guardiola has always praised the man he appeared alongside 147 times for Barcelona in the 1990s.
When Enrique was connected with the Chelsea post four years ago, City manager Pep Guardiola said: “He has the level to train anywhere, no difficulty at all.”
“One of the best managers I’ve ever seen is Luis Enrique. I know he can do whatever he wants because he is a friend of mine.”
Guardiola stated that he had “no doubt” his mate would be a success in the dugout during his three trophy-laden seasons in charge of the Blaugrana, which concluded in 2017.
“You could see straight away that he was extraordinary,” he added as Bayern Munich’s manager at the time. “He is straightforward, honest, and hardworking.”
Both have been captains at the Camp Nou; both have coached the club’s B-team; and both have managed the first-team, winning the treble in their first season.
Enquire’s track record of success with world-class players at a club comparable to the 20-time English champions clearly qualifies him for the position.
Last summer, the 51-year-old led a young Spain team to the European Championships semi-finals, with La Roja playing their greatest football since their early-2010s heyday.
They were defeated by the winners, Italy, who are managed by Roberto Mancini, who is also being watched by Old Trafford officials as a wildcard alternative.