Premier League English

Pep Guardiola defiant Omar Berrada’s joining Manchester United won’t change anything

Pep Guardiola has cheekily joked that Manchester United should name a stand after Omar Berrada if he manages to transform their fortunes.

A long-time City stalwart, Berrada sprung a major surprise and vacated his chief football operations officer’s role at the Etihad club last weekend to be the new chief executive at Old Trafford.

Having served in a key off-pitch part of City’s recent triumphs, pinching Berrada is no doubt a major coup for Man United but Guardiola has triggered the amber warning indicator that his former Barcelona colleague is no instant guarantee of success.

The City manager said: “Obviously his knowledge goes to United, that’s the reality.

“When you buy a player from another club you buy the knowledge that this player has had in the past with other managers and team-mates. That is normal.

“We learned a lot from Omar and he’s learned a lot from the club, and now he’s gone to United.

“But Kevin De Bruyne is still in Man City, De Bruyne will play here. Erling Haaland will play here, so in the end it’s not that simple. Otherwise, with the power of United, they would have done it before.

“Maybe United think with this person everything is going to change – congratulations. I don’t know if this is going to happen.

“He is a lovely person, an incredible character, incredible professional. Yesterday I saw him, we hugged and I wished him all the best. Deeply, I wish him the best because he’s a fantastic person.

“But I don’t know if by doing this (clicks his fingers) everything is going to be sorted and it works.

“If it does happen then, oh my God, they have to make a stand for Omar Berrada in the future because he’d deserve it.”

Guardiola insists there are no hard feelings over Berrada’s departure and is confident City will appoint wisely when it comes to naming his successor.

He said: “We try to keep the best people here but this kind of thing can happen.

“The club will move forward. We’ll find a way to replace him and we’ll continue. We will be well prepared, we will adapt and adjust and move forward.”

Manchester City is up next in the evening against Tottenham in the FA Cup at 8pm.