Manchester City’s new midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has already got into the crosstown club rivalry by saying Zlatan Ibrahimovic rates Pep Guardiola as the best coach he has worked with.
The former Borussia Dortmund and German midfielder was unveiled by City alongside Spanish forward Nolito on Saturday, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced last week that he will be playing his football in the red of Manchester United.
Along with the signing of Eric Bailly from Villarreal and new manager Jose Mourinho, the Red Devils will provide stiff competition for their city rivals when the 2016-17 Premier League season kicks off on Aug. 13.
Citing the Swede’s autobiography where the former Paris Saint-Germain striker made known his dislike for Guardiola, who was his coach at Barcelona, Gundogan reckons City have got the better manager among the two Manchester teams.
“Even the players who don’t like him [rate him] and the best example is Ibrahimovic,” Gundogan told The Guardian.
“I read in his book that he doesn’t like him. But he says he is the best coach he ever worked with. This is really special to read, but he is being honest.
“It is the same thing I heard from the players at Bayern Munich. They told me the same — that he can improve everyone. That is what is possible.”
Gundogan is also confident that Guardiola will lead City’s silverware hunt and do well on the domestic front, along with the UEFA Champions League next season — City made the semifinals last season but lost to Real Madrid 1-0 on aggregate — to add to the Spaniard’s 21 titles during his time with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
“It could take time, but of course it’s possible,” Gundogan added.
“Anything is possible. I think Pep knows what he has to do and what he has to change. That’s why he is the best coach on earth for me at the moment. He will know exactly what he has to do. He will bring us to the best level we can play.”