Bayern Munich’s announcement on Sunday that Pep Guardiola will leave the Bavarian powerhouses at the end of the season did not come as a surprise, but it has truly set the managerial rumour mill into orbit.
Arguably the best trainer on the planet with a stellar track record of success in both Spain and Germany, the Premier League looks like the next destination for the Catalan tactician.
Winning 14 trophies in four momentous years at Barcelona has been followed up by successive Bundesliga titles, which seems likely to be followed with a third this season.
Although Chelsea are thought to be in the running for Guardiola’s services given that Jose Mourinho was sacked last week, the common consensus suggests that the former defensive midfielder is likely to end up in Manchester.
With both United and City’s hearts racing at the thought of the Bayern boss in their respective hot seats, which of these close rivals needs the superstar manager more?..
The initial response to the question is naturally to say United, who are struggling to make progress this season under Louis van Gaal.
Six games without victory and Champions League elimination have the Dutchman up against the wall, with odds shortening on his Old Trafford tenure being cut short.
It seems likely that the Red Devils will stick with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich trainer until the end of the season, especially as someone like Guardiola will not be available until the summer.
If Guardiola was to be installed before the start of next season it would be a massive boost for a club that has been in a state of mourning since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
The club is lacking inspiration in the final third, tactical versatility and star appeal – Guardiola would surely be the man to turn the tide at Old Trafford.
Given the fact that former Barcelona figures Ferran Soriano and Tkixi Berigristian are in the Etihad Stadium hierarchy, Guardiola is believed to be the ultimate manager for City.
Manuel Pellegrini signed a new contract in the summer but has not fully convinced as the man with potential to lead the club to European success and a prolonged period of domestic dominance.
If City were to negotiate a deal to bring Guardiola in next season, it would be difficult to do so without upsetting the current incumbent and the collective applecart.
However, such is the Catalan’s appeal and track record of success and innovation, this should not be ruled out.
It will take a special coach to take City from their current form to the ultimate force both in England and on the continent – Guardiola is one of the few that can help the newly rich side progress to the next level.
Both sides would see their respective ambitions bolstered by bringing Guardiola to their clubs, however United need him more given their current plight.
That said, for City, finding an alternative that can lead them to Champions League glory against the established order is arguably a greater task.