Man City boss Guardiola expects Klopp to coach after Liverpool

Pep Guardiola said he believes Jurgen Klopp “will be back” despite his decision to step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season.

Klopp is calling time on his nine-year stint at Anfield, citing exhaustion as the reason behind his decision, and has suggested he may never return to management.

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However, Guardiola thinks his long-time rival, who he faces when Manchester City meet Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, will eventually return to coaching.

“I respect completely his decision,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.

“I spoke with him and had the feeling he would be back later. He loves football. His passion is still there. He explained perfectly the reason why. So in the Premier League it is the last time [we meet], but maybe in the FA Cup we can find another. We will see.”

Guardiola and Klopp have shared the last six Premier League titles — City have won five and Liverpool the other — and are again involved in the battle for top spot along with Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.

Despite City winning more silverware during Klopp’s time at Anfield, defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has said Liverpool’s successes “mean more because of the situations at both clubs financially.”

Both Erling Haaland and Rúben Dias have since hit back at Alexander-Arnold, who is injured and will miss Sunday’s game, but when the question was posed to Guardiola, the City boss refused to get involved.

“I wish him a speedy recovery and hope he comes back to the pitch as soon as possible,” he said.

Guardiola also said his players didn’t need Alexander-Arnold’s comments to get themselves fired up for what is being billed as an early title decider.

“Do you think they want to fight because Erling [Haaland] and Rúben [Dias] talk?,” he said.

“Without these talks we will not fight? We are there and after what happened in the last years we are going to try to do a good game.”