AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi claims Manchester City are favourites for Pep Guardiola

Silvio Berlusconi: Claims Manchester City are battling AC Milan for Pep Guardiola's services

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AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has claimed they face competition from Manchester City for former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.

The Spaniard, who is taking a year-long sabbatical from football, has been linked with a host of clubs ever since leaving Barcelona at the end of last season.

Roberto Mancini's long-term future at City has been the subject of conjecture after another early exit from the UEFA Champions League this term and, with Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano now in place at the Etihad Stadium as director of football and chief executive, it has only fuelled speculation of a move for Guardiola.

Berlusconi has admitted Milan will try to bring in Guardiola next season to replace Massimiliano Allegri, but he believes City are also in the race to tempt the highly-respected coach back into management.

"Guardiola to AC Milan? We also spoke with Allegri about it," Berlusconi told the Milan channel

"If there is a chance to take Pep to AC Milan we will try. But it will be difficult, because there are also some English clubs on him, including Manchester City which have officials who know him well. "