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'Meat' and greet helped Pep pick Bayern Munich

The German and European champions' president travelled to Chicago on a business trip for his family's sausage factory last year, and arranged to meet up with the former Barcelona coach in New York during his travels.

Hoeness hoped to keep the meeting private, but revealed how the duo were almost caught out by ex-Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson.

"It was partly a business trip for my company," he told Bild.

"I went to Chicago first to visit Aldi. I knew that Pep was about to fly to Barcelona for his holidays and that a meeting there would have been far more dangerous, so we decided I would meet him in the States, where the risk of being spotted was smaller.

"I wanted to take him out for a meal, but that night, Alex Ferguson was dining in the very same restaurant.

"It certainly would not have been funny had he seen me and Pep together."

However, the journey proved to be a positive one for Hoeness, with Guardiola announced as Bayern's new coach from the beginning of the 2013-14 season in January.

"He just wanted to get to know me better," continued Hoeness. "Of course it was an extraordinary trip. Nobody really expected Bayern to appoint Guardiola.

"We didn't believe he was being serious with us either for a long time.

"What we are seeing now is a consequence of those few hours in New York."

Bayern will compete in the FIFA Club World Cup final in Morocco this weekend after beating Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 in Tuesday's semi-final.