Franz Beckenbauer, honorary president of Bayern Munich, believes Manchester United's popularity could see Pep Guardiola take the managerial job at Old Trafford next summer.
Guardiola will soon enter the final six months of his three-year contract with the German champions. The former Barcelona head coach is currently in negotiations with the club over renewing his stay at the Allianz Arena but persistent reports suggest both Manchester clubs have reached out to the Spaniard.
But according to Beckenbauer, the red half of Manchester could prove to be the bigger draw for the manager when it comes to deciding on his next destination.
"Pep is an issue for every top club in the world, this is normal," Beckenbauer told Sky Germany, Merkur reports. "He can choose the club where he wants to go. And Manchester United is perhaps the number one worldwide in popularity."
Guardiola is perhaps the most sought-after manager in world football despite being under contract at Bayern, where he has won two Bundesliga titles since his appointment in 2013.
According to Pep Confidential, the book that chronicled his first season in Germany written by Spanish journalist Marti Peranau, Guardiola has been taken with the idea of managing United for some time, telling his personal assistant: "I like this atmosphere; I could see myself coaching here," upon a visit to Old Trafford in 2011.
Current United boss Louis van Gaal has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks, heightened by the club's elimination from the Champions League. But according to The Guardian, the club have no intention of cutting short the Dutchman's tenure before his contract expires in the summer of 2017. The report adds the timing of Guardiola's availability has deterred United from making a move.