Bayern Munich honorary president Franz Beckenbauer hopes Pep Guardiola signs a new contract with the Bundesliga champions but suggested Manchester United might be his best option if he moves on.
Guardiola, whose three-year deal with Bayern expires at the end of the season, is set to make a decision on an extension before the end of 2015 but has been strongly linked with both Manchester City and United, although he ruled out Real Madrid.
Beckenbauer, who has returned to his punditry role with Sky along with his ambassadorial role at Bayern after recent controversy, said the former Barcelona coach may view Old Trafford as the best option if he leaves Germany.
"Pep is interesting for every top club in the world," Beckenbauer said. "That's just normal.
"He can pick his club -- and in terms of popularity Manchester United might be the No. 1 worldwide."
In Beckenbauer's column for Bayern's official US website, he underlined his appreciation for Guardiola's work since taking charge in 2013.
"Pep Guardiola has brought invaluable insight and wisdom to the team, and it's my hope that he stays at Bayern," Beckenbauer wrote. "The collaboration between him and the club over the last three years has been very productive."
He added: "FC Bayern Munich are in great form this season with the best start in Bundesliga history, and the consistency and level of performance are the result of Pep Guardiola's consistent work.
"You can clearly see that the team has developed even further. A good coach has his ideas and visions, but they only work when they're implemented by the team. And that's the case with Pep, the team, and FC Bayern -- a partnership that couldn't be better."
He said Guardiola, who has led the club to back-to-back Bundesliga titles, must now look to oversee a repeat of the Treble that his predecessor Jupp Heynckes won in 2012-13.
"The end has not yet been reached, the mission not yet accomplished -- that would be the Treble," he said.
Beckenbauer also offered qualified backing for current United boss Louis van Gaal, who was in charge of the Bayern side that reached the Champions League final in 2010.
Van Gaal's contract at United is due to expire in 2017 and newspapers including The Independent and Daily Mirror reported prior to their Champions League exit on Tuesday that the club fully supported the Dutchman and were not in the market for Guardiola.
Beckenbauer said Van Gaal, who was in charge at Bayern Munich from 2009 to 2011, was a capable manager but had work to do at Old Trafford.
"They might have a good man in Louis van Gaal, but he finally has to come to grips with his team," the former West Germany boss said.