By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Rio Ferdinand has piled the pressure on Louis van Gaal by urging Manchester United to make a move for Pep Guardiola.
Van Gaal admitted on Friday that his job is on the line as United attempt to turn around a five-match run without a win and fans disillusioned with the team’s unadventurous playing style.
As reported by Football Insider, Guardiola will leave at the end of the season and former United defender Ferdinand is adamant that the Premier League giant should not overlooked the opportunity to entice such a renowned manager.
“It doesn’t matter what club you’re at. If someone of the talent of Guardiola becomes available, everyone is interested,” said Ferdinand in an interview with BT Sport.
“The best manager in the world at the moment is definitely Guardiola and, when he becomes available, people are going to be interested, and I think United are no different.
“I just think, ‘Where’s he going to go?’ and the only place he can go is England. He’s not going to go to Italy.
“Guardiola has been in two of the three best leagues in the world and the next progression, naturally, is going to be the Premier League. He’s going to be going to a Premier League team and he won’t be going to another one after that. So you have one chance to get him.
“He’s not going to go to Manchester City then [go to] United. He’s not going to go to Chelsea, then United. So you’ve got one chance to get the best manager on the planet.”
Ferdinand accused Van Gaal of failing to take United forward in what is the Dutchman’s second season in charge and criticised the team’s dour playing style.
“United aren’t far off the top, but it’s not been exciting,” said the ex-England international. “It doesn’t excite when you go and watch them at the moment.
“When Van Gaal took over, they’d finished seventh. Last season there was progression. This season, in terms of the way the team’s playing, I don’t see great progression.
“Guardiola’s teams play possession-based football — I witnessed it. I played against Barcelona in two Champions League finals — but they play possession football with a purpose. That purpose was that, at any time, if there were any openings to hurt you, they went for it.
“That’s the difference between them and United. They [Guardiola’s teams] play possession-based football, but can excite you with moments as well.”
United host Norwich in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday after consecutive defeats at the hands of Wolfsburg and Bournemouth.