Manchester City’s players were left ‘shocked’ by Omar Berrada’s decision to leave the club and join fierce rivals Manchester United.
The former City chief will take over as Red Devils CEO in the summer, ending a 13-year stay at the Etihad in the process. His arrival marks the first key decision recent investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made since his purchase of 25 per cent of United was confirmed just before Christmas.
Ratcliffe, alongside Sir Dave Brailsford, is expected to oversee United’s footballing operations and will view prying Berrada away from their local rivals as a huge coup for everyone at Old Trafford. Not only does the Spaniard’s arrival offer a significant boost to United, it is a damaging blow for City.
City manager Guardiola was asked about Berrada’s departure and whether or not it is a huge loss for the European champions.
“Well all I can say personally is I wish him all the best, good luck,” he said. “So he changes street and not the city.
“Yeah, he has been an important person for the whole organisation, the right hand of [City CEO] Ferran [Soriano].
“But he decided for himself to leave, and the club will move forward.
“So we, the club, will find the right way or the right person, or persons, to move forward and do what he has done. But personally I wish him all the best.”
When asked if the appointment makes Manchester United a bigger force, Guardiola replied: “I don’t know the ideas from Man United.
“We try to keep the best persons and people here but this can happen.
“When I arrived here eight years ago, especially in this building, to come, not very often, just in the press conferences, but now I come here and I don’t recognise one face. Honestly.
“So people change a lot, move to another job, and new people are coming.
“I think we wanted [him to stay], the club was so happy with Omar, but he decided for himself to leave and all the best [to him].”