Bailly: Why I snubbed Man City and Barca to join Man Utd

United makes the short journey across town on a 23-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, only now a point behind City in fifth place and with its aura gradually being restored under Jose Mourinho, Guardiola's old foe from their time at the Spanish league with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The pair were fierce competitors during their time in Spain, but the Red Devils coach claims that focusing on their history is not the "correct approach" to the fixture. "But there are a lot of teams in Europe that won't win anything this season".

Writing on his website, Barton commented: "I think if the FA is truly serious about tackling the culture of gambling in football, it needs to look at its own dependence on the gambling companies, their role in football and in sports broadcasting, rather than just blaming the players who place a bet".

City were among the first clubs to make contact with the Ivory Coast worldwide and he had been set on moving there until Jose Mourinho phoned him up - not that he believed it was actually the Portuguese manager, though.

Asked if Ibrahimovic had a future at the club, Mourinho replied: "I don't know, I'm not interested in it, I don't care about it, I just want the hard surgery to go [well]".

Guardiola on his lack of silverware this season: "I have been managing nine years and this is my first without a trophy". Should United fail at City's ground, they can focus on Celta Vigo in the semifinals, such that Thursday is make-or-break for Premier League ambitions.


In the league game against Everton, City came away with just a 1-1 draw after missing two penalties and scoring from just one of its 19 second-half shots.

Mourinho said it would be "naive" for any rival to think United will be unduly diminished by their injuries and Guardiola concurred. The results are a fact but the way we play every game we should talk about. Meanwhile, Paul Pogba and Eric Bailly appeared to have mild muscle tweaks against Burnley where United comfortably won 2-0, perhaps their most comfortable victory of the season.

"If they finish third and we finish fourth they are above us, but it means a lot".

"I'm not interested in the speculation and if the player [De Gea] is, he shouldn't be", said Mourinho. The key caveat, of course, is that both Manchester sides have two games in hand.

Even though the Europa League is a safety net for United in terms of their ability to qualify for next season's Champions League, the idea of damaging their rival and neighbours must appeal.

"I want to think about today winning, hopefully Thursday the same and we have (the) Europa League (semi-final)".


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