Pep Guardiola fires back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of Manchester derby

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Pep Guardiola has hit back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic by suggesting that the striker should not have used the media to criticise him.

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In his autobiography I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swede branded Guardiola a ‘spineless coward’ over the way he felt he was treated at Barcelona.

Ibrahimovic will renew his rivalry with the Spaniard once against Manchester United host City at Old Trafford on Saturday, but Guardiola has denied claims that he did not speak to his former player during their time together at Camp Nou.

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‘Ibrahimovic used his book to explain what he believes, he had some things to say,’ said the City boss.

‘Always I was clear. Whatever I said to him I spoke face to face. I never used the media to explain what I wanted from him on the pitch.

‘I have a lot of respect for Zlatan and what he has done in the football world and his career.

‘He has had a big impact everywhere he has been and he is an amazing talent, one of the best around.

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‘The best players always have an impact. The big players always bring their talent to a club immediately. You can see they don’t need time to adapt to a new league or understand another country.’

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