They are two of the most prolific title-winning managers in world football but have markedly different styles.
Guardiola is renowned for wanting the game played in a particularly stylish way, while Mourinho is viewed as more pragmatic and defensive.
For Cantona, one of the Premier League's great artists, there is one man he would like to see in the Old Trafford dugout.
"I love Mourinho as a manager and I said it before he arrived in Manchester, he is very intelligent, clever, he takes all the pressure on himself," he told BBC 5 Live.
"He has a lot of charisma, has won a lot of things and will win a lot of things.
"But, the football I played, and (Sir Alex) Ferguson played, Matt Busby before, it was very creative.
"But today, in football, I loved (Johan) Cruyff when he was manager at Barcelona, I loved Ajax in the 70s, I grew up with this kind of football and the football we played with Ferguson was very creative and more Manchester United.
"It's why I prefer the way Guardiola plays and I would prefer to have him as manager of Manchester United."
Guardiola's City have swept all before them so far this season and sit top of the Premier League, eight points clear of United, going into the weekend's fixtures.
Guardiola appears to have finally implemented the style he made so successful at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and Cantona cannot understand why United's board would not have wanted him in red.
"It's more logical," he added.
"I cannot understand why Manchester United take a manager who plays in a defensive way but is a great manager, a great man and I still love him but I prefer to watch a game when Barcelona play. I don't watch Manchester City because it's Manchester City but I would love to play for a team managed by Guardiola."