Guardiola rejects talk of Mourinho rivalry ahead of Manchester derby

Rivalries may be fierce on the pitch at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but not in the dugouts according to Pep Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho share a laugh   -  Getty Images

Pep Guardiola insists there is little rivalry between himself and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho ahead of Saturday's derby.

The two superstar managers go head-to-head again at the Etihad Stadium with City on the verge of winning the Premier League – the Blues needing a win over United to seal the title.

Over the years Guardiola and Mourinho have met 20 times, with the Spaniard having claimed nine wins, only losing on four occasions.

Their rivalry began during spells with Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively and was reignited when they arrived on opposite sides of Manchester.

However, Guardiola insists there is no tension between the pair and that he has a lot of respect for his opposite number.

"Listen, when we arrived here it's OK, I understand: it's Pep arrives and they are both together a year," Guardiola told a media conference. "But it’s now two years and nothing happened in a special way.

"I have never beaten Mourinho and he has never beaten me.

"Our teams beat the other ones. I don't play against Jose. He doesn't play against me. Sometimes his teams, they beat me, sometimes mine beat him, it's simple like that.

"I respect him a lot. It's not about Pep v Jose."

Despite being on the verge of a first title in England, Guardiola has warned City fans they may not get the celebration they wanted by beating United this weekend, particularly given City have their return leg against Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals three days later.

"Of course, for the fans to win [the league] against United, I can understand how special it can be," he added.

"But in the end, [it might not happen] I'm sorry."