Manchester United will reportedly be forced to intensify their pursuit of Jose Mourinho in order to match the hype that's erupted after Manchester City confirmed Pep Guardiola will take over at the club this summer.
City officially revealed on Monday that Manuel Pellegrini will step down from the helm, with Guardiola his replacement. The Daily Star's Jeremy Cross claimed United's Mourinho hunt will step up as a result:
"Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has decided to replace the struggling Louis van Gaal at the end of this season. He knows Mourinho is the only man who can go toe-to-toe with Guardiola and will make his move for the former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss."
Mourinho has been speculated as the most likely candidate to replace former Barcelona mentor Louis van Gaal in the event United part ways with the Dutchman, but it appears the club will persevere with their current boss for now.
At a FIFA event organised at Wembley by presidential candidate Gianni Infantino on Monday evening, Mourinho was quizzed on his chances of replacing Van Gaal, but as shown by Sky Sports' Paul Kelso, his answer was muted:
It was already widely known Guardiola would be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of this season, but the confirmation of his switch to the Etihad Stadium has created a buzz around England, not just for City fans.
James Robson of the Manchester Evening News took no shortcuts in detailing the potential impact of United's next managerial appointment, a decision that will reverberate around European football:
Klopp-Liverpool, Ancelotti-Bayern, Guardiola-City, Mourinho-? United's next move could shape the Premier League for the next 10 years— James Robson (@JamesRobsonMEN) February 1, 2016
Along with the obvious managerial credentials Guardiola brings to City, there's also a certain fanfare about his arrival that United are somewhat obligated to match in order to appease their fans.
Should United appoint Mourinho as manager this summer?
City's supporters have been handed a tremendous boost by the news that they've captured a man who's among the best managers in the world. And their biggest rivals are now under pressure to try to match that announcement.
Despite the glum terms on which his second Chelsea spell ended, Mourinho remains a respected figure in the management scene, as does Van Gaal, whose United team currently sit fifth in the Premier League.
Goal's Ben Hayward outlined Guardiola's City arrival as massive news for the Premier League, but United risk slipping further from title contention unless there's swift change at Old Trafford:
The Premier League took a step up when Mourinho went to Chelsea in 2004. It will again with Guardiola's move to City. He's the best around.— Ben Hayward (@bghayward) February 1, 2016
It's no secret the Red Devils have been accused of playing unattractive football during their time under Van Gaal, and while former Real Madrid manager Mourinho may adopt similar attributes, his methods also tend to produce results.
A fierce rivalry could be reignited in the Premier League if Guardiola and Mourinho lead Manchester's two giants into the 2016-17 campaign.