Jurgen Klopp has joked he hopes Pep Guardiola will take time off after his Manchester City contract expires. Kloppo described his relationship with the Spaniard as respectful – but they are not friends.
Guardiola's current contract at the Etihad Stadium expires next summer, although the Catalan boss has so far given little hint about whether he wants to extend his contract.
Ahead of Sunday's clash between Liverpool and City, Klopp praised his opposite number but admitted he would prefer their legendary rivalry to be over sooner rather than later.
When asked about Guardiola's future at City, Klopp said: "I didn't know. I would prefer Pep to take a four-year sabbatical. In fact, I would have preferred him to take a sabbatical for the last four years. Of course it's just a joke. But he's the best coach in the world. He proves that all the time. Every day. It's special what he does and I respect that."
"I could always see and appreciate brilliance when I saw it - and in this case that's the case," said Kloppo of his longtime rival.
"He told me that when we're no longer in charge of a club we can sit down and have a glass of wine. I'm not a big wine drinker but if we could do that while I'm working and he's off I would wish it. We could have this conversation easily."
When asked how difficult it was to keep up with Man City, Klopp replied: "Yes, but it's fine. I'm a very lucky person."
"Let me say I'm not Federer and Pep is not Nadal. They play at the highest level and are best friends. Pep and I are not friends because we don't know each other. But I respect him a lot and I know that he also respects what we do. In the rivalry we don't need to be disrespectful. Around the games we have a good relationship without talking. During the games we are competitors."
Liverpool host Man City this weekend and are looking to emerge from the doldrums to get their Premier League season back on track after winning just twice so far. City, on the other hand, want to remain undefeated this season.
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This article was originally published on 90min.com/de as Klopp on his "respectful" relationship with Guardiola: "Are not friends".