Blues owner Roman Abramovich is hoping the former Barcelona chief will take over at Stamford Bridge next summer.
But Guardiola, who is on a year’s sabbatical in New York, fancies moving in at Old Trafford when Alex Ferguson retires.
That could be at the end of this season.
If not, Guardiola would be prepared to hold out for another year.
Fergie and Guardiola are close friends and have met privately in New York.
A source close to Guardiola said: “The whole history of Manchester United, his relationship with Sir Alex and the way the club is run appeals to Pep.
“Right now I’d be astonished if he went to Chelsea. He really wants to wait for the United job even if it means extending his time out of the game.”
Guardiola wants to be able to concentrate on all aspects of the football club without interference from above.
Red Rom’s constant hiring and firing of managers — interim chief Rafa Benitez is his ninth boss in a decade — does not appeal.