Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has insisted that there is no reason as to why he wouldn’t shake hands with Jose Mourinho when they cross paths this week.
The old foes come face-to-face again in pre-season, with Manchester United taking on City in the International Champions Cup in Beijing on Monday afternoon.
Four years have passed since the two managers last faced off during their heated rivalry in Spain at Barcelona and Real Madrid, but Guardiola isn’t expecting it to be hostile when they greet each other in China.
“Of course, we’re polite guys. Why not? Why wouldn’t I shake hands?” he told reporters at a pre-game press conference.
“He [Mourinho] wants to win, I want to win. But it is a friendly game, a really friendly game.
“I am pretty sure they will be stronger than last year. With this manager and the good players they already had, they will be a good team.”
The pair have been involved in an on-going feud for years dating back to Mourinho’s time at Inter when they crossed paths in the Champions League in 2010.
It went up another level after the Portuguese tactician moved to Spain to take charge at Real, with the two frequently clashing through the media as their sides went up against each other for silverware on a regular basis.
However, it’s Guardiola who has the edge when it comes to previous meetings, winning seven of the 16 encounters compared to Mourinho’s three.
Nevertheless, both coaches will face fresh and difficult challenges this year as they plot a way to ensure that their half of Manchester rises back to the top of English football, and it will certainly take plenty of hard work both on the pitch and in the transfer market to make it happen.