Guardiola cites Liverpool, Man Utd when addressing hot and divisive topic; rejects proposed Man City transfer

Pep Guardiola sitting on the Manchester City benchCredit: PA Images

Pep Guardiola has weighed in on the debate over every neutral apparently wanting Liverpool to win the title, and poured cold water on a reported transfer to Man City.

Manchester City and Liverpool must wait until 5:55 p.m. on Sunday before knowing who will be crowned Premier League champions. The two great modern rivals have once again been the flag bearers of domestic English football this season.

A City of Man A draw with Aston Villa, combined with a Reds win over Wolves, would see Liverpool complete a domestic treble.

Debate has recently raged over who neutral fans and the media want to win the title.

Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have both been drawn to the subject, with the The city boss previously claimed “Everyone in this country supports Liverpool, the media and everyone.”

Klopp hit back, saying the Premier League would be “boring” if Liverpool didn’t run City close. Now, in his pre-match press conference, Guardiola has explained why it’s only natural that more people want his team to miss on Sunday.

Guardiola explains biggest support from Liverpool and Man Utd

“I’m sure my English isn’t good after four, five years,” Guardiola said (via the Manchester Evening News).

“I said that by the time you get to the titles, teams with more history have more supporters. This happens in Spain, Germany and Italy.

“We are underdogs of the last decade. At that time, of course, people didn’t want Liverpool or us to win.

“Liverpool fans want to win, I’m not saying the whole country is a fan of Liverpool, but in general it’s a team with more titles.

“Maybe I’m wrong, but in countries all over the world there are two, three teams that people support more than others.

“Liverpool, [Manchester] United, Arsenal have a lot of history, we are new. How many times do we happen in this story? Brighton, Paul Dickov, I don’t think so. It’s not a lot.

“That’s why we think it’s a privilege and we won’t lose this opportunity to enjoy the 95 minutes.”

Gundogan Exit Reports Processed

The subject then turned to the future of Ilkay Gundogan.

A Daily Mail report earlier this week insisted the 31-year-old midfielder had been told he was free to find a new club this summer. Gundogan would like more regular playing time – something City cannot guarantee with Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva in charge.

However, when asked about the speculation, Guardiola said no one at City was pushing Gundogan. His current deal is due to expire in 2023, meaning next season would be his last in Manchester.

“He got married, congratulations. I don’t know about his trip, he had permission,” Guardiola added referring to Gundogan’s trip to Madrid on Monday.

“If you ask me personally, I want it next season. There’s no one who thinks he can’t be here. If he wants to leave, as a club, we don’t know.

“All the Twitter accounts saying he’s leaving, I don’t know. Maybe you know more than me.

Finally, Guardiola paid tribute to Fernandinho’s departure.

The 37-year-old Brazilian will play his last game for the club on Sunday if he comes off the bench. The midfielder is a modern great at Manchester and has helped make City the dominant force in English football over the past decade.

“We’ve been together since day one,” Guardiola said. “He is one of them, who became a captain.

“We go through a lot of good and bad times together. Generous guy, puts the team first on him. He knows that, I’m more than happy to have met him in my life and to work together.

“We wish him all the best for the future and his last season in Brazil, maybe he will be a coach. I’m sure we’ll meet again in the future.

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Jessica C. Bell