What Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said about Chris Wilder as Sheffield United prepare to part company with iconic manager

Pep Guardiola has paid tribute to Chris Wilder, admitting that the Sheffield United manager would “fight to be a champion” if Wilder took his place as Manchester City boss.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 2:09 pm

United are expected to announce Wilder’s departure today, despite five remarkable years in the job, after a breakdown in relations with the Bramall Lane board.

While unwilling to comment on the specifics of Wilder’s job, Guardiola did reveal his respect for Wilder.

He said: "It's not official so I prefer not to comment on that. I have a good relationship with him from when we faced each other. I wish him all the best if he's still there or if it's not the case.

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"If he would be here, he would fight to be champion. If I was in Sheffield maybe I'd fight not to be relegated."

Guardiola has been just one high-profile name to learn from Wilder’s unorthodox tactics, including the use of overlapping centre-halves.

United have not yet publicly commented on Wilder’s position, but his relationship with United’s directors is known to have been strained for some time.

Josep Guardiola and Chris Wilder talk after the final whistle at the Etihad Stadium: Darren Staples/Sportimage

Wilder was frustrated when the promise of two loan signings in the January transfer window was withdrawn – a decision which effectively signalled that those in the Bramall Lane boardroom had accepted relegation from the Premier League this season.

That prompted Wilder, a lifelong United supporter who acted as a ballboy for the club and also played in the red and white stripes, to admit he couldn’t guarantee he would remain in charge at Bramall Lane beyond this summer.

“I don’t know,” he confessed when asked that question directly. “I honestly don’t know.”