• Premier League

Guardiola has 'no interest' in quick return, claims Fergie

ESPN staff
December 20, 2012
Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken to Pep Guardiola over the past few months © Getty Images

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has "no interest" in returning to management at the moment.

Guardiola, 41, is currently in the United States taking a sabbatical from football after stepping away from the Catalan club at the end of last season, although his reported desire to return to the game next summer has led to him being frantically linked with a number of high profile vacancies.

Chelsea and Manchester City have both been repeatedly linked with the former midfielder - while the unfortunate medical news about current Barca boss Tito Vilanova, Guardiola's former No. 2, had sparked talk of a temporary return at Camp Nou.

But Ferguson, who has spoken to Guardiola on a couple of occasions in recent times during trips to New York, does not believe the Spaniard is desperate to return to football any time soon.

"I spoke to Pep a while ago and he said he has no interest in getting back into management at the moment," Ferguson told Eurosport. "His record is fantastic. The trophies he won at Barcelona were quite exceptional and that is his CV - he wins trophies.

"Barcelona have always had that style and played attractive football. He increased that by putting a new work ethic into the players. They work extremely hard to get the ball back and if you combine that with their possession it makes a fantastic team."

Meanwhile, Ferguson has revealed some of the management strategies that have made him such a success at Old Trafford over the last 26 years, after being the subject of a report by the Harvard Business School. The Scot claimed that a mixture of intimidation and encouragement formed the basis of his management style.

"You can't ever lose control," he told academics at the prestigious American university. "Not when you are dealing with 30 top professionals who are all millionaires. And if anyone steps out of my control, that's them dead."

He added: "I tell them that hard work is a talent, too. They need to work harder than anyone else. And if they can no longer bring the discipline that we ask for here at United, they are out. I am only interested in players who really want to play for United, and who, like me, are 'bad losers'."

However, he was keen to stress that he does not operate entirely without compassion - using his method of dealing with dropped players as an example.

"I have been dropped from a cup final in Scotland as a player at ten-past-two, so I know what it feels like," he said. "I'm not ever sure what they are thinking, but I tend to say 'Look, I might be making a mistake here' - I always say that - 'but I think this is the best team for today'.

"I try to give them a bit of confidence, telling them that it is only tactical, and that there are bigger games coming up."

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