Is it only a matter of time before this manager is sworn in at Man United?

After helplessly watching his side crash out of the Champions League group-stages mid-week – and subsequently enduring a shock away loss at the hands of the mighty AFC Bournemouth last time out in the league – Louis van Gaal now goes about his managerial duty at Old Trafford with an increased cloud of uncertainty hanging above his head.

Although his side currently remain seated in the Premier League’s top four, Manchester United fans are seemingly growing more and more tired of their team’s faltering performances with every passing week. Van Gaal’s side just can’t seem to buy a goal these days, despite having spent close to £250million on his squad in recent transfer windows.

So then, as Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola has constantly seen his name linked with the manager’s role at Old Trafford this season, is it only a matter of time before the former Barcelona boss is sworn in at Manchester United to replace Louis van Gaal?

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Although the Red Devils hierarchy will likely be satisfied with their club finishing in the top-four once again this season, the Old Trafford faithful remain more than concerned with their team’s increasingly unentertaining performances out on the pitch.

Manchester United have been poor to watch for quite a while now. Long-balls up to Marouane Fellaini remain van Gaal’s desired route of attack, the enigmatic Dutch tactician has seemingly proved unable to get the best out of several big name signings at the club of late – and although the Red Devils back-line has admittedly improved ten-fold under Louis van Gaal this season, such an outcome simply isn’t good enough.

As the modern game has become progressively more pressured for big name managers trying to go about their jobs with the least drama possible, something may in-fact need to change at Old Trafford before Manchester United get well and truly left behind by their Premier League rivals.

The potential capture of Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola could therefore go down as the ideal move for the Red Devils. Although the former Barcelona boss isn’t likely to depart the Allianz Arena before the end of this season, Manchester United would nonetheless receive a massive boost with the Spanish tactician successfully on board.

In going down as one of the original orchestrators of Barcelona’s famed tiki-taka approach just a few seasons ago, the current Bayern Munich coach would easily go down as a superior option than Louis van Gaal. Pep Guardiola has impressed his respective fan-base with an attractive style of play wherever he has managed in the past, whilst also playing host to some of the most technically gifted talent the modern game has to offer during his time in the dugout.

The 44-year-old coach is obviously well admired by his current employers in Germany, however. Bayern Munich would likely do everything within their power to hold onto their highly coveted manager by the start of next season – but if the formidable European club fail to go all the way in the Champions League this term, Guardiola may very well choose to move elsewhere in the summer.

Guardiola has pretty much achieved all that has been available to him within the domestic realms of top-flight German football, and as the level of competition within the Bundesliga doesn’t even come close to that witnessed in the Premier League these days, Manchester United could theoretically make Pep Guardiola their man should circumstances allow this year.

Yet should Bayern Munich eventually concede defeat in regards to holding onto their current main man in the dugout at the end of the season, the only other road-block potentially standing in Manchester United’s way would ironically arrive in the shape of their local rivals Manchester City.

If the Citizens decide to opt against sticking with Manuel Pellegrini in favour of hiring Pep Guardiola, the wealth of resources behind the scenes at the Etihad would likely blow any reported interest from the Red Devils well and truly out of the water, especially if Manchester United fail to qualify for the Champions League this term.

So although the Old Trafford faithful would traditionally want their financially-backed neighbours to falter at any given opportunity, perhaps the only way for Manchester United to actually get their hands on Pep Guardiola at the end of the current campaign, is for Manuel Pellegrini to successfully keep his job down at the Etihad by the start of next season.