Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester City players, saying that under him they will have to prove themselves all over again.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach made his first public appearance as City handler in front of thousands of fans at a festival held at their Academy Stadium.
Guardiola has also moved quickly to bring in new talent, signing German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund for £20 million and Spain winger Nolito from Celta Vigo for £13.8million.
Inside reports coming from the club suggest that a few big name Manchester City players such as Yaya Toure, Raheem Sterling to name a few will have there work cut out to impress the new gaffer. Toure’s last working relationship with Guardiola at Barcelona didn’t really end on high.
Guardiola has now openly declared that all of Manchester City players are going to start with a clean slate regardless of what they have achieved in the past.
“I know them. I have played against Manchester City in the last two or three years many times. I spoke many times with Txiki too”.
“I know them, I know their quality but they have to show me, show the fans again. The past is the past. The people don’t come here to remember what we did. We are here to try again.”
Guardiola has indicated that he will not seek to inflame a long-running rivalry with Jose Mourinho, who took charge of City’s neighbours Manchester United in late May.
The north west of England will host several of football’s big managerial names next season, with Jurgen Klopp in place at Liverpool and Ronald Koeman in charge at Everton, but Guardiola insists that the focus should be on the players.
“The people don’t come to see who the manager is, they come to see how good our players are. I don’t think just that’s just the case this year, but in the past as well, with Klopp, with Conte, with Ranieri, Mourinho Pochettino, Koeman. The reason I work here is just to help the players.”
Guardiola, meanwhile, laughed off suggestions that he was about to make an attempt to bring five-time world footballer of the year Lionel Messi to City.
But asked about the possibility of a reunion in Manchester, Guardiola said: “He is not a bad player, this guy. But I am sorry Messi has to stay in Barcelona for the rest of his career.”