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Guardiola: I’ll Shake Mourinho’s Hand

Pep Guardiola has once again moved to downplay his rivalry with Jose Mourinho ahead of Manchester City’s International Champions Cup clash with Manchester United.

The two Premier League giants are set to meet at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing on Monday as they ramp up their preparations for the 2016-17 campaign.

Guardiola and Mourinho have endured an often acrimonious relationship so far during their time in management, most notably during their time Spain, and they will lock horns once again less than a month into their respective reigns in Manchester.

The City boss has been keen to avoid discussing his previous run-ins with the Portuguese and it was no different on Sunday as he dismissed the suggestion that the two men would not shake hands.

“Of course,” he said. “We are polite guys. Why not? Why should he not shake my hand? No reason why. He wants to win, I want to win, that’s all.

“It’s a friendly game. A really friendly game.”

Guardiola has other concerns ahead of Monday’s game, with heavy rainfall in the Chinese capital during the last week leaving the pitch at the Bird’s Nest in poor condition.

Although the pre-match training sessions have been moved to the nearby Olympic Sports Centre, the game itself is set to go ahead despite initial fears of a cancellation.

But Guardiola is worried that his players may be more susceptible to injury by playing on the sub-standard surface, and he says his priority from the match is now to avoid any casualties.

“We didn’t see the pitch but the information we have is there could be a lot of rain in the last day so it’s not in good condition,” he added.

“We’re going to adapt, adjust. It’s the second game for our preparation. We’re going to start to move forward like we talked in the beginning. That’s the target.

“The most important thing is that people aren’t going to be injured.”

Guardiola also gave an update on Vincent Kompany’s bid to return to full fitness ahead of the new campaign.

The captain’s surprise presence on the bench for City’s game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday was put down to an admin error, and Guardiola has stressed that the Belgian must take his time to recover fully.

“That’s not the important thing,” he replied when asked when Kompany can be expected to return.

“What happened with Vincent Kompany the last two years was so difficult for him and the team.

“The important thing is not when he’s coming back, it’s to be fit and ready to show he can play one week and one week more, that he can play regularly – especially that he can train every day.

Then we will see again the best Vincent Kompany.

“The most important thing is not to be back as soon as possible. Forget about it. The most important thing is when the doctors and physios say he’s fit.

“If it’s Sunderland, perfect. Start of the Champions League, perfect. If not, September.”

Source: Goal

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