Premier League News: Give us a break, Pep! Klopp wants Guardiola to take sabbatical at Man City

    Jurgen Klopp joked that Guardiola should take a four-year sabbatical when his Manchester City contract expires at the end of the season.

    Guardiola has led City to four Premier League titles in the past five seasons, but his future at the Etihad Stadium is unclear with less than 12 months left on his contract.

    On Friday, Guardiola said he was not reviewing the contract situation for the time being, saying he would have “enough time” to negotiate after the Premier League break ahead of next month’s World Cup.

    Liverpool have often suffered under Guardiola’s genius, having finished second in the Premier League twice behind City, and Klopp says there can be no doubt as to the quality of his opponent.

    Asked if he thought Guardiola would stay at City after this campaign, Klopp said: “I would prefer Pep to be on sabbatical for four years or something, 100%.

    “Actually, I would rather he had a sabbatical for the last four years. To be honest, this is a joke, but I have no idea.

    “I said this, I don’t know how often; he is the best manager in the world. He proved it constantly, every day. What they do is special and I respect that.”

    Asked if Guardiola’s incredible standards made his own job the hardest job in football, Klopp replied: “Yes, but that’s okay, I’m a very happy person. I have no problem with the situation.

    “I don’t [Roger] Federer and Pep [Rafael] Nadal, they compete at the highest level and are best friends. Pep and I are not best friends because we don’t know each other.

    “But I have a lot of respect for him, I know he respects what we do too, so it’s okay. Competing does not require disrespect.

    “During the games we have a good relationship; during the games we are both rivals. I could always recognize magnificence when I saw him, and that’s how it is with him.”

    Although Guardiola has brought 11 trophies to City since his arrival in 2016, he has yet to deliver a Champions League trophy, but Klopp says this does not affect his standing in the game.

    “I’m not here to name City goals. This is the best team in the world, I think it’s obvious,” Klopp said. “I think they won a lot, to be honest, and they were unlucky in some moments not to qualify for the Champions League, nothing else.

    “Last year they had to pass, but such is life. From a sporting point of view, I could not respect what they do more, this is 100 percent true.

    “What Pep does is just outstanding. He never stops, he desperately wants to win every game…he has so many things that are special for a manager.”

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