Why I prefer golf to coaching Manchester Utd, Real Madrid – Pep

Pep Guardiola insists he would rather retire to the golf course than coach Manchester United or Real Madrid in the future.

The Manchester City manager faces Ole Gunnar’s Solskjaer’s team in a Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday night aiming to win the trophy for a third successive year.

He could have been in the opposing dugout had former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson convinced the former Barcelona boss to take over at Old Trafford, but Guardiola says there is no longer any chance of him joining the Red Devils in the future.

“After training City I won’t train United,” he said ahead of the first leg at Old Trafford. “It is like I would never train Madrid. Definitely not.”

Asked if he would reconsider if they were the only jobs open to him, he added: “I’d be in the Maldives if I don’t have any offers! Maybe not the Maldives because it doesn’t have any golf courses!”

The United position remains filled despite Solskjaer’s side languishing five points outside the Champions League places in the Premier League.

The Dane has come in for a fair share of criticism from pundits, though, including former United striker Robin van Persie, who accused him of being too nice.

The Norwegian swatted away the attack, saying Van Persie doesn’t know anything about his management style and Guardiola praised his opposite number for being his own man.

“Ole is who he is,” he said. “If he wants to smile, it’s perfect, if he wants to conduct the team in that way, why should he change? Everyone is everyone.

“Some are more expressive, others are calm, others shout more on the touchline, others sit. Who is better? The guy who wins the last weekend. That is the best manager.

“If you react in that way it’s perfect, that’s the way he is. That’s all. That is not debatable. I’m pretty sure when he doesn’t win he’s sad and if wins he is happy. It’s normal. If he wants smile, what’s the problem? If he wants to shout what’s the problem?”

Guardiola has won on each of his three previous visits to Old Trafford in the Premier League, although a much-changed side was beaten there in the League Cup in 2016 – his only defeat in the competition.

However, at the Etihad Stadium the Catalan has a mixed record in the league, with a draw and two defeats – including a 2-1 loss last month.

“We play the first leg away. We have to try to play good to get a good result for the second leg at home,” Guardiola said.

“In games when you play your opponent many times, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Against a top club like United you can win and you can lose games.

“I didn’t expect when we arrived here to win all the time against Man Utd. We beat them more times than we lose.”