MUNICH: Franz Beckenbauer has suggested that Pep Guardiola would like to manage Manchester United – rather than neighbours City who had always been considered favourites were the Catalan ever to come to the Premier League.

Guardiola has stalled on extending his contract with Bayern Munich, which is due to expire next summer.

Beckenbauer, Bayern’s honorary president, has weighed into the speculation with his belief that Guardiola has his sights set on coaching Manchester United.

“Pep is interesting for every top club in the world,” said Beckenbauer. “He can pick his club, and in terms of popularity Manchester United might be the number one worldwide.

“They might have a good man in Louis van Gaal, but he finally has to come to grips with his team,” he stated.

Beckenbauer went on to suggest Guardiola would be missed if he does decided to leave Bayern Munich as he has definitely made his mark at the club.

“Pep Guardiola has brought invaluable insight and wisdom to the team, and it’s my hope that he stays at Bayern,” he added.

“The collaboration between him and the club over the last three years has been very productive.

“FC Bayern Munich are in great form this season with the best start in Bundesliga history, and the consistency and level of performance are the result of Pep Guardiola’s consistent work.

“The end has not yet been reached, the mission not yet accomplished – that would be the treble.

“No-one is irreplaceable. Players come and go and it is the same for coaches. The coaches come in and at some point they leave. If Guardiola leaves, another exceptional coach will come in.”