Jamie Carragher believes Pep Guardiola faces an uphill battle as Manchester City manager this season.
Guardiola’s City side lost out to Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title last season and will be hoping to bounce back now the new campaign is underway.
The Etihad club have bolstered their ranks by signing the likes of Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres this summer, and remain in the hunt to bring in fresh faces before the window slams shut.
But with reigning champions Liverpool recently adding to their squad by signing Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota, Carragher feels City have fallen even further behind their rivals.
And the Reds legend also reckons that, for the first time in his career, Guardiola is “having to manage change”.
Speaking to Sky Sports before City’s clash with Wolves on Monday night, he said: “I see City as just short of Liverpool.
“But that can be addressed in the transfer window before it closes. I expect a centre-back to come in.
“What I’m interested in is that, almost for the first time in his managerial career, Pep Guardiola is having to manage change.
Liverpool are keen to repeat last season’s success – and you don’t want to miss a thing, surely?
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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.
In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves’ Diogo Jota is arriving too.
Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There’s a lot to keep track of.
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“Go back two years ago when they won the title, there’s probably going to be four or five different players who we will see now and through the start of the season.
“That will be interesting to see how Pep adapts.”
Ahead of the game, Guardiola claimed he “would love to stay longer” at Manchester City but must earn the right.
The City manager is now in the final year of his contract at the Etihad Stadium and speculation over his future is likely to grow until the matter is resolved one way or the other.
With City having won six major trophies, including two Premier League titles, since Guardiola arrived at City in 2016, there seems little doubt the club would wish to extend the inspirational Catalan’s tenure.
Yet Guardiola – who seemed similarly unconcerned as he entered the last 12 months of his previous deal – does not sense any urgency and, besides, feels he still has work to do to convince the club.
The 49-year-old said: “I would love to stay longer here. It is a place I love to be but I have to deserve it.
“This club achieved (high) standards in the last decade but we have to maintain that.
“I am going to see if I deserve it this season in terms of how the club goes forward and improves.”