Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said Manchester City-bound Pep Guardiola should expect a tougher test in the Premier League than he has faced in the Primera Division and the Bundesliga.
Guardiola will take over as Man City manager before the 2016-17 season starts, ready to sign a three-year contract at the Emirates after not renewing his contract with German giants Bayern Munich.
Therefore, the former Borussia Dortmund coach and still current Bayern boss will renew their rivalry next season when Guardiola replaces Manuel Pellegrini as Man City manager.
Klopp was fulsome in his praise of the Catalan following Monday’s announcement, describing him as a “really nice guy, really smart” and one of the game’s elite managers.
Guardiola is on course to lift a third consecutive Bundesliga title with Bayern, having achieved the same feat in Spain at Barcelona between 2009 and 2011. However, the Liverpool manager believes stronger competition will prevent him achieving such dominance in England.
“We plan to avoid that”, Klopp said in The Times. “City is a club with not too bad possibilities on the financial side and Pep is a really smart person. He won’t have chosen City because of his friendship with a few people there.
“They won’t have the worst team in the world next year but that doesn’t mean everything. As we have shown once or twice, you can beat these teams. We will see what happens.
“He will enjoy the league because it is a great league and a real competition and he is a real competitor. That is what he wants. I don’t think that it will be the same situation as he had in Spain, with Barcelona on the top level, or in Germany with Bayern on the top level, but City have good possibilities.”
“He is one of the best managers in the world, no doubt about this. Pep won everything in Spain and nearly everything in Germany so I think he wants to win everything in England. That is clear.”
Klopp and Guardiola met each other eight times as coaches in Germany, with four wins apiece including a 2-0 triumph for Bayern in the 2014 DFB Pokal final.