After recent results, most Manchester City fans want Pep Guardiola’s first game in charge to arrive sooner rather than later.
And they’ll be even more excited for it if it’s against Manchester United.
That could be the case if the BBC’s Simon Stone’s prediction is correct.
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Plans for the summer’s International Champions Cup are expected to be announced later this week and Stone wrote on Twitter that City and United could face off in China.
If rumours linking Jose Mourinho with Manchester United are correct, then it could be Guardiola v Mourinho.
City are desperate for revenge
City fans are desperate for revenge on their rivals after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium. They’ll even take a victory if it comes in a pre-season tournament in Beijing.
City have dethroned United as Manchester’s top club in recent seasons and, though nobody thinks the Red Devils’ victory means they have retaken their place as the number one team, it certainly puts into question City’s credentials.
Louis van Gaal’s team sit just one point behind Manuel Pellegrini’s, although City’s Capital One Cup victory and Champions League run proves they remain superior.
The gap is expected to widen when Guardiola arrives in the summer. His tactical knowledge combined with the wealth of City’s owners spells disaster not just for United and the Premier League, but for Barcelona, Bayern Munich and the rest of Europe’s elite.
Mourinho is the perfect rival
Yet if United do hire Mourinho, they will be appointing a man more than capable of going head-to-head with the Catalan.
The former Chelsea boss proved in his time at Real Madrid that he can trouble Guardiola and his antics on the touchline often irked the former Barcelona manager.
City’s Premier League title ambitions have collapsed in recent weeks. They have lost four of their past seven fixtures and currently sit 15 points behind Leicester.
Even with a game in hand, City can wave goodbye to any hopes they had of winning the title for the third time in five years.
Instead, they will be looking over their shoulder.
Southampton (seventh in the table on 47 points), Manchester United (sixth, 50) and West Ham (fifth, 50) are all within touching distance of the Citizens and if they keep up their current form, Guardiola will be coaching a Europa League team next season.
Stone added that there isn’t a clause in the Spaniard’s contract that means he can exit the City deal if the club fail to finish in the top four.
Who will finish higher next season - City or United? Have your say in the comments section below!
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