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Sir Jim Ratcliffe: Man United will ‘be back’ under investor, says Man City boss Guardiola

New Manchester United investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe “knows what he has to do” to help the club challenge Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, Pep Guardiola has said.

Businessman Ratcliffe has taken over football operations at Old Trafford and made several high-profile appointments, including the addition of Omar Berrada from City as the club’s new chief executive and a move for former City academy director Jason Wilcox, who is currently at Southampton and could work under Dan Ashworth if the Newcastle sporting director joins United.

In a wide-ranging interview after his deal worth more than £1 billion was ratified, Ratcliffe said he hoped to knock City and the Reds “off their perch” as part of a transformation of United’s footballing structure, echoing the words of Sir Alex Ferguson about Liverpool before the legendary United manager made the club the dominant force in English football until he retired in 2013.

“I am pretty sure that with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and all the other people, United are going to take a step forward,” said Guardiola, who has won the top flight in five of his seven seasons in charge at Etihad Stadium and lifted the Uefa Champions League last season.

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“I have the feeling that they know exactly what they have to do. He’s experienced in the business world and makes projects better.

“What I want is for Man City to be there; otherwise, I don’t care. Since day one, I’ve always expected United to be there. I don’t know why it didn’t happen, but they know, I guess.”

Guardiola: City ‘learned from’ United

United have not made a credible title challenge since they won the league in Ferguson’s final season in charge.

Guardiola suggested he had been inspired by the Scotsman’s famed teams of the 1990s and 2000s, namechecking several icons involved with the period that means they hold a record 20 top-flight titles, although current leaders Liverpool are one behind.

“I always admired them and asked what you have to do to be close, to challenge them,” said the Spaniard.

“When we were below and United were winning, we were watching, admiring and wanted to learn from them, in the period from Sir Alex Ferguson and the generation with Roy Keane, Gary Neville, David Beckham – all the big, big players who were there, Rio Ferdinand.

“I’m pretty sure City wanted to be there, and now we are. That’s why, with these types of comments, I’m pretty sure they’ll be back.”

Second-placed City are four points behind Liverpool with a game in hand, while United, in sixth, face a battle to finish in fifth, which is likely to be sufficient to qualify for the 2024/25 Champions League.

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