Fergie: 'Guardiola never got back to me about the United job' 5 years ago

Fergie: 'Guardiola never got back to me about the United job'

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that Pep Guardiola was the first choice as his Man United successor - but that the Catalan didn't respond to his advances.

The revelation is detailed in Fergie's new book, entitled Leading. And if he had his way, it would have been the current Bayern Munich manager leading United after his retirement and not David Moyes.

"I had dinner with Pep Guardiola in New York in 2012, but couldn’t make him any direct proposal because retirement was not on my agenda at that point," Ferguson said.

"He had already won an enviable number of trophies with Barcelona…and I admired him greatly. I asked Pep to phone me before he accepted an offer from another club, but he didn’t and wound up joining Bayern Munich in July 2013."

The legendary manager also suggests that Moyes wasn't even second, third or fourth choice - but that the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Louis van Gaal and Carlo Ancelotti weren't available.

"When we started the process of looking for my replacement, we established that several very desirable candidates were unavailable," explains Fergie. "It became apparent that Jose Mourinho had given his word to Roman Abramovich that he would return to Chelsea, and that Carlo Ancelotti would succeed him at Real Madrid.

"We also knew that Jürgen Klopp was happy at Borussia Dortmund and would be signing a new contract. Meantime, Louis van Gaal had undertaken to lead the Dutch attempt to win the 2014 World Cup."

It sounds like David Moyes was way down the list of Sir Alex Ferguson's preferences - or that Fergie is rewriting history to distance himself from Moyes' disappointing tenure.