Friday 9 September 2016

Jose and Pep play down rivalry ahead of maiden Manchester meeting

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have dismissed suggestions there will be animosity between them during the match and they may well even share a glass of wine afterwards.

United host local rivals and near neighbours City at Old Trafford on Saturday (12.30pm) in one of the most eagerly anticipated all-Manchester meetings for decades.

Both United and City have new "super coaches" in Mourinho and Guardiola respectively and have started the new season with 100% winning records.

The clubs spent heavily in a record-breaking summer transfer window, with United re-signing Paul Pogba for an £89 million world record fee and City making £47.5 million John Stones the second most expensive defender in history.

Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pogba, winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan and defender Eric Bailly were all bought in by Mourinho this summer for a combined fee of £150 million.
For their part, City spent £165 million on Stones, goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, wingers Gabriel Jesus, Nolito and Leroy Sane and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, while allowing £100 million of talent out on loan.

Three of the five most expensive players signed by top flight clubs - Pogba, Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling - are expected to play pivotal parts in tomorrow's clash. 

Marcus Rashford and United winger Jesse Lingard are the only local lads with a chance of being involved in what is expected to be the most expensive match ever in terms of total transfer fees. 

Former Barcelona boss Guardiola suggested any personal rivalry with ex-Real manager Mourinho was "created from the media".
"We can't control that, I said it many times that I have a lot of respect for Mourinho and I always try and learn from my colleagues, and I am sure it is the same for him.
"The last period at Barcelona and Real Madrid was not easy for both of us but we have met each other at the League Managers meeting and I will accept a glass of wine afterwards if he invites me" added the Catalan. 

"City have a very good manager, they always have very good players and have bought more.
"They are what they are since I've returned to England, they are a title contender with big ambitions and you have to respect them" said Mourinho. 

Either United or City have been Premier League champions for seven of the last ten seasons.

Of the 171 previous Manchester derbies, United have won 71, City 49 with 51 draws.

Recent meetings have ebbed and flowed between the two with United taking the honours in two of the last three meetings, with one draw, but City did a painful double over us during the David Moyes season in 2013-14.

Bring it on!

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