Pep Guardiola Bayern Munich
Both Manchester clubs are keen on Pep GuardiolaReuters

Elimination from the Champions League has convinced the Manchester United hierarchy to make a concerted effort to try and sign Pep Guardiola ahead of their neighbours and English Premier League rivals Manchester City.

Reports just before the crucial Champions League match against Wolfsburg had suggested Manchester United were right behind Louis Van Gaal and his plans for the club, but that tune seems to have changed a little bit of late, following the Premier League side's meek exit from Europe's elite competition.

That exit, of course, was compounded by a loss in the Premier League on Saturday, to debutants Bournemouth.

Guardiola has been widely tipped to leave Bayern Munich at the end of this season, with Manchester City reportedly in pole position to sign the coveted Spaniard.

Manchester United reportedly decided against going for Guardiola owing to their trust, at that time, in Van Gaal. However, that trust has reportedly eroded, with the Guardiola chase "greatly accelerated" by the United hierarchy, according to ESPN FC.

The report goes on to suggest the feeling within the Manchester United camp is that it might be too little too late, with City confident they have a deal agreed with Guardiola.

However, Manchester United are still hopeful with their trump card coming in the shape of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Much will depend on if Ferguson can persuade Guardiola to shift allegiances to Old Trafford instead of the Etihad, but it will not be easy considering City have Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, the former Barcelona executives, who worked with Guardiola at the Camp Nou, in their ranks.

As much as Guardiola will lift Manchester United – much like Jurgen Klopp did initially for Liverpool – what cannot be masked is the shortage of stardust in the squad – like Klopp is finding out at Anfield.

If United are to return to title-winning ways again, bringing in a world-class manager alone will not do, they need to bring in astute reinforcements, not just throw money for the sake of it.

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