Pep Guardiola has hailed Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp as a “class manager” ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield showdown. The two Premier League title rivals go head-to-head for the first trophy of the new season at Wembley this weekend and, despite recent reports, there is plenty of mutual respect between the two managers even though they have this week disagreed on the other’s respective spending power in the transfer market.
Liverpool boss Klopp recently said his side were unable to compete with the likes of Guardiola’s City in terms of money spent on new players. Champions League winners Liverpool have made just two low-key signings this summer after being the biggest spenders of 2018. The German said: “People talk about it like, ‘now another £300million or £200m’.
“There are maybe only two clubs in the world – it looks in the moment like Barcelona and (Real) Madrid can do the same – (Manchester) City and Paris Saint-Germain that can do it every year.” However, Guardiola hit back and claims City are not spending at that level every year and only did so once, in the summer of 2017, through necessity.
The City manager said: “Of course it bothers me because it’s not true that we spend £200m in every transfer market. “So it’s Liverpool – You’ll Never Walk Alone – so it’s not a small team. It’s Liverpool. “Last season we spent £17m (net) on one player. Two seasons ago, if we spent a lot, it’s because I took over the team and we had 10 or 11 players over 30 years old.
So we had to do it. But we cannot spend £200m every season.” However, despite all that, Guardiola was keen to point out he is, in fact, an admirer of the work Klopp has done at Anfield. He added: “He inspires me in many things. He is a class manager, a top manager. He’s so good and it is an incredible challenge for me every time I face his teams.”