Pep Guardiola: Man City boss believes Man Utd ‘will be back’ with help of Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Pep Guardiola
Manchester City have finished above Manchester United in the Premier League in each of Pep Guardiola’s six full seasons at Etihad Stadium

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes Manchester United “will be back” with the help of new investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe’s deal to buy a 27.7% stake in Manchester United was completed on 20 February.

The British billionaire says he hopes United can knock cross-city rivals City “off their perch”.

Responding to the comments, Guardiola said: “As [soon] as the teams admit it they will be closer to us.”

The 53-year-old Catalan added: “If they want to deny it for things that are not the reality then it’s their problem – it’s not our problem.

“When I’ve been below teams I’ve always admired them and thought about what we need to do to be close, to challenge them.

“When we were below and United were winning, we were watching them, admiring them. That’s why, for these type of comments, that I have the feeling that they will be back.”

Guardiola has led Manchester City to the Premier League title in each of the past three seasons, and in five of his six completed campaigns at Etihad Stadium.

City won the Treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in 2022-23 and Guardiola has won 14 major trophies since taking charge in the summer of 2016.

Manchester United have won three trophies since Guardiola arrived across the city but new investor Ratcliffe has high hopes of bridging that gap in the near future.

Speaking to BBC Sport earlier this week, Ratcliffe spoke about building a new state-of-the-art stadium close to the current Old Trafford ground, while he also revealed an ambition to develop the squad as they attempt to become more competitive on all fronts.

Guardiola, speaking before Saturday’s Premier League trip to Bournemouth, said: “It’s not about [being] worried. I’m pretty sure with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the other people that United are going to take a step forwards.

“I feel that they know exactly what they have to do, appoint the people they need to appoint with their experience in the business world to make projects better.

“But that is normal. It’s not just United – all the teams want it. We want to be there and as long as I’m here, we will try to be there again.

“What I want is Man City, my team, being there. The rest, I don’t care.”

Manchester City are second in the Premier League and four points behind leaders Liverpool, although they have a game in hand, while Manchester United are sixth.

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