Manchester City manager in waiting Pep Guardiola has praised Juventus forward Paul Pogba after his Bayern Munich side draw 2-2 in the Champions League with the Italian side in Turin.
The Catalonian boss, currently with Munich, has been linked with a move for Pogba when he completes his protracted switch to the Etihad Stadium in the summer, deposing Manuel Pellegrini, but has thus far refused to discuss the speculation in public.
Bayern raced into a two-goal lead at Juve courtesy of goals from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben but late strikes by Paulo Dybala and substitute Stefano Sturaro levelled the arrears ahead of the second-leg in Bavaria on March 16.
During his post-match media conference, Guardiola said: “Now, he is a Juventus player. He's very strong and very young. He's shown his value, but I know he's happy at Juve and I wish him a long career.
“Would I like to coach him? It doesn't depend on me, but on the club.”
The former Barcelona manager’s complimentary words about Pogba, set to represent his country at the European Championship this summer, were buried under reports of his expletive-based comments on his side’s physical condition.
Bayern still have an away-goal advantage ahead return fixture in Munich, but Guardiola was clearly frustrated despite staunchly defending his players during his post-match media commitments.
“The result is what it is,” said Guardiola. “I know that in Italy you are about physical condition. I don't give a f*** for the physical condition. It's the mental question that I care about.
“I didn't expect to come here and expect Juve not to shoot on target, or that we would play 90 fantastic minutes. They have players like [Mario] Mandzukic, [Paul] Pogba and [Leonardo] Bonucci, one of my all-time favourite players. And we showed character.”
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