Vincent Kompany asks Pep Guardiola not to link him with Manchester City job

Vincent Kompany insists Pep Guardiola needs to “stop saying” the Belgian will one day be Manchester City manager, claiming it is unrealistic given that he is working in the Championship with Burnley.

Kompany, who captained City under Guardiola for three years, takes Burnley to the Etihad Stadium for Saturday’s FA Cup sixth-round tie. It is the former defender’s first competitive return since ending a supremely successful 11-year stay there in 2019, his status at the club underlined by his statue at the stadium.

Related: Vincent Kompany faces pressure test in landmark return to Manchester City

On Friday Guardiola repeated his view that Kompany is a future City manager. When informed of this Kompany, whose team lead the Championship by 13 points, dismissed it.

“He has got to stop saying it.,” Kompany said. “I’m a Championship manager, I don’t know what you want from me. “I think he should stay for another 10 years at Manchester City first and foremost. And City is competing to win the Champions League, we are competing to win the Championship, so I don’t think these kinds of conversations make sense.

“They need to have the best manager in the world. I want to be extremely respectful to the club I manage as well. This club to me means everything. I want this club to get better.”

The statue of Vincent Kompany outside the Etihad Stadium.
The statue of Vincent Kompany outside the Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Kompany was asked whether Guardiola’s comments heightened expectations of him. “Pressure is a thing of your own mind,” he said. “I think if you play in big finals you are OK with pressure but I try to be as rational as I can. I am in an environment where the people I work with are rational enough to not make my job dependent on whether we beat Manchester City.

“I came to Burnley because I chose it for the people. It is an environment where I have a chance to learn and get better. As long as we graft and work hard, the people here will give you the time.”

Kompany did admit the statue of him is a little surreal. “That is a bit weird,” he said. “I got a massive recognition from the club for what I was, not just as a player but a competitor but also a leader in moments. Now I am on the other side and that is the person I want to represent for Burnley every day of the week.”