Old friendships will be briefly forgotten at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, as manager Pep Guardiola urged Manchester City to be wary of ex-player Vincent Kompany’s Burnley when the teams meet in an FA Cup quarterfinal.
Former City captain Kompany played under Guardiola from 2016-19 before leaving to join Anderlecht as player-manager.
He took over Burnley in 2022 and has led the side to the top of the second-tier Championship standings on 83 points from 33 matches, a position from which it looks poised to earn promotion back to the Premier League a year after being relegated.
Earlier this month, Guardiola heaped praise on Burnley and said that Kompany was destined to one day succeed him as City manager.
On Friday, however, Guardiola sounded a cautious tone, telling reporters: “I said before that it’s nice he’ll be back, but these last two or three days, I’ve only been thinking about what they’ve done this season.”
“I’m not surprised at all with the position they have in the Championship,” the Spaniard added.
“They’re so close to being a Premier League team. They’ll be a tough offering as they do incredible things on the pitch. They have a good team and the way they play is exceptional.
“I’m more than convinced he’s going to come back to (Manchester City). Everybody knows he is an important, incredible figure here. He is one of the biggest legends I have had.”
City was drawn with Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Friday.
Guardiola said that he and his side would focus all their attention on Burnley.
“I have not spoken to the players after the game against RB Leipzig (on Tuesday). We had a day off, then training,” Guardiola said.
“We will start to talk about Burnley after the draw, because it’s one step away from being at Wembley again. Burnley deserves for us to pay attention to them, be careful.”