Guardiola doubles down on Kompany claim as Man City prepare to ‘take Burnley seriously’

Pep Guardiola and Vincent Kompany during a press conference Credit: Alamy
Pep Guardiola and Vincent Kompany during a press conference Credit: Alamy

Pep Guardiola has once again stated that Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is destined to become Manchester City manager one day.

Kompany’s Clarets travel to the Etihad to take on City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday.

It will be the first time the Belgian has managed against the club he won four Premier League titles with as captain.

Burnley are flying in the Championship under the 36-year-old with an immediate return to the Premier League a formality.

A quarter-final berth in the FA Cup is another terrific achievement for Kompany and his players, but it does not get much trickier than a trip to the blue side Manchester with a trip to Wembley on the line.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, City manager Guardiola said that Kompany has Burnley playing “exceptional” football.

“It’s nice he’s back but now we’ve looked back and seen what they’ve done all season, I’m not surprised about their position in the Championship,” Guardiola told reporters.

“They’re so close to being a Premier League team.

“They’ll be a tough offering as they do incredible things on the pitch.

“A manager needs time but to be successful with a team, in the meantime you apply it and they’ve applied it.

“They have a good team and the way they play is exceptional.”

Guardiola had no updates on his squad after Tuesday’s 7-0 thrashing of RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

“I didn’t talk to them after the game against Leipzig,” he explained.

“Yesterday, day off and today we start. We are going to talk about Burnley because it is one step away from being at Wembley again.

“And Burnley deserve to pay attention, always. Be careful.”

The Spaniard reflected on his time as Kompany’s manager, noting that it was a “pity” the former centre-back was injured so often during the latter stages of his career.

“He is an important figure here,” Guardiola added. “Personally, I have a little pity he was a lot of time injured when we were together.

“Since day one he helped me. I arrived here from a different country and didn’t know the Premier League.

“He was an exceptional captain. A top human being and I am really pleased.

“On the other side, I am concerned because when you play a game and on the touchline for the opponent is a player you had you realise how old you are becoming, so that is a little bit frustrating.

“It is nice to see him, but of course, we want to win and we will take it seriously.”

Last month, Guardiola stated that he sees Kompany as a future City manager and doubled down on Friday, saying he is “more than convinced” it will happen.

“Absolutely I do not know,” he said when asked how soon it could happen. “Maybe he doesn’t agree with me.

“After seeing his teams I am more than convinced that he is going to come back. The fact when… I don’t know, but it is going to happen.”

PLANET FOOTBALL QUIZ: Can you name Man City’s XI from Vincent Kompany’s debut in 2008?

Meanwhile, striker Julian Alvarez has signed a has extended his contract to 2028.

The 23-year-old forward, who joined from River Plate, has scored 10 times in 33 appearances during his first season at the Etihad Stadium and also found the net four times for Argentina as they triumphed in Qatar in December.

His initial contract was due to expire at the end of the 2026/27 campaign but after a strong start to his City career, an additional 12 months have been added.

“This is a very proud moment for me and my family. For a club like City to put their faith in me like this is amazing,” he said.

“I have been really pleased with my first season here, but I have plenty more I can do. I know I can be better, and City offer me everything I need to fulfil my potential.

“I want to thank the manager, the coaches and everyone at City who works behind the scenes for everything they have done for me since I joined in the summer. I am now focused on getting better and helping City win trophies.”

Director of football Txiki Begiristain paid tribute to Alvarez for his attitude and development since moving to Manchester.

“He is the ideal blueprint for a young footballer and an inspiration to anyone looking to make their way in the game. He has shown already here in England that he has outstanding movement and natural goalscoring instincts,” said Begiristain.

“We saw at the World Cup what a special talent he is. To win that trophy at his age is amazing and we are all very proud of what he achieved. His progress so far has been really good, but we are now fully focused on developing his game even further and turning him into one of the best strikers in world football.”

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