Pep Guardiola tells Man Utd 'welcome back' after EFL Cup win
If Manchester United are not already back, they will be "sooner or later", according to rival manager Pep Guardiola.
United beat Newcastle United 2-0 in Sunday's EFL Cup final to win their first major honour in six years.
Victory at Wembley brought tangible reward for an impressive first season under Erik ten Hag, who has United third in the Premier League and still in the Europa League and FA Cup.
There have been false dawns for United previously in the post-Alex Ferguson era, but Guardiola, the Manchester City boss, was asked if they were now "back".
"First and foremost, congratulations to United for the Carabao Cup, for the final – Newcastle as well, that the game was entertaining," Guardiola said.
"Yes, sooner or later, it should happen, shouldn't it? Couldn't it? It should happen. Welcome."
United, in the midst of a takeover saga, would be a more serious threat if they "spend a little bit more money" according to the City manager.
Assessing Ten Hag's side, Guardiola added: "It's normal, they are in the position they normally should be.
"But the reality, with those teams, especially Liverpool and Manchester United, in the last years what we have done is incredible, the numbers. Always when I landed here, I thought United always would be there for the history, for everything.
"So, Erik is doing incredible job. The players, you see how committed they are, how all together they try to do it.
"When you have many years, five, six years without winning one title, when you have that challenge... I remember when we won the first Carabao Cup, when we travelled to win the Carabao Cup, and everyone was so excited to do it.
"[For the] staff it was new, for the players it was new. The fourth time we travelled there to win the fourth Carabao Cup in a row, it was okay, it was another one and another day in the office. It's normal, that is normal.
"United has to be there. [City are] always having big opponents that we were better than in previous seasons and now it's close. And I thought that would happen in the Premier League."