His contract with Bayern Munich expires in the summer and separate reports have already started to link him heavily as the potential successor to van Gaal.
While the immediate word from Man United is that they are not interested in Guardiola, it hasn’t stopped the stories gathering pace and the will continue to do so, regardless of United or van Gaal’s stance on the future.
Guardiola is no stranger to a sabbatical having taken one in between managing Barcelona and Bayern Munich but the idea of him taking one solely to hold out for the United job is a different concept altogether, especially when James Ducker from The Times suggests United are already entertaining the idea of keeping van Gaal past his 2016/17 contract.
One thing is for certain – United aren’t out of the woods when it comes to finding long-term stability once again. Van Gaal was never going to be that sort of manager who stayed around for a decade but ensuring that a David Moyes style catastrophe doesn’t happen is crucial this time around.
It will be interesting to see how this story develops over the next few months, both with van Gaal’s and Guardiola’s futures, because the concept of having Pep at United is a tantalising one isn’t it?