Pep Guardiola has warned that Manchester City are yet to secure their place in the Champions League — but said their situation is still “better than Manchester United’s.”
Guardiola agreed to join City in February and said taking the job had not been dependent on the club qualifying for the Champions League.
They eventually finished fourth under Guardiola’s predecessor, Manuel Pellegrini, and must win a two-legged playoff to qualify for the group stage, with Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach among their potential opponents.
However, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said it was a better scenario than that facing Jose Mourinho’s United, who are certain to be in the Europa League after finishing fifth last season.
“I wasn’t worried. I was coming to Manchester, I was never going to stay at home,” he told former Oasis singer Noel Gallagher in an interview for the club’s website.
“But we are not in the Champions League, we have to be clear. That situation is now in this moment better than Manchester United’s, though.”
Guardiola also said that former City boss Stuart Pearce was right not to offer him a long-term deal when he nearly joined the club as a player in 2005.
He had a trial at City as a 34-year-old but Pearce only offered him a short-term contract and he instead joined Mexican side Dorados de Sinaloa.
“I have to say that Stuart Pearce was right because I came here at 33, 34 years old and at that age for a player it was a disaster,” Guardiola added. “It was intelligent not to pick me up.
“My dream was to play in the Premier League. He offered me six months but I would have had to move my family and so in the end we decided not, but if you analyse my physical condition at the time I think it was the right decision.”