Pep Guardiola has joked Manchester United should name a stand after Omar Berrada if their incoming chief executive proves to have the magic touch.
Berrada quit his role as chief football operations officer at rivals Manchester City last weekend after being offered the senior position at Old Trafford.
The appointment is a major coup for United with Berrada having been a key off-field part of City’s recent triumphs, but Guardiola has warned that his fellow Spaniard is no instant guarantee of success.
“When you buy a player from another club you buy the knowledge that this player has had in the past with other managers and team-mates. That is normal.
“We learned a lot from Omar and he’s learned a lot from the club, and now he’s gone to United.
“But Kevin De Bruyne is still in Man City, De Bruyne will play here. Erling Haaland will play here, so in the end it’s not that simple. Otherwise, with the power of United, they would have done it before.
“Maybe United think with this person everything is going to change – congratulations. I don’t know if this is going to happen.
“He is a lovely person, an incredible character, incredible professional. Yesterday I saw him, we hugged and I wished him all the best. Deeply, I wish him the best because he’s a fantastic person.
“But I don’t know if by doing this (clicks his fingers) everything is going to be sorted and it works.
“If it does happen then, oh my God, they have to make a stand for Omar Berrada in the future because he’d deserve it.”
Guardiola insists there are no hard feelings over Berrada’s departure and is confident City will appoint wisely when it comes to naming his successor.
He said: “We try to keep the best people here but this kind of thing can happen.
“The club will move forward. We’ll find a way to replace him and we’ll continue. We will be well prepared, we will adapt and adjust and move forward.”
Guardiola, meanwhile, has suggested striker Erling Haaland could return to action as the champions host Burnley in the Premier League next Wednesday.
Guardiola said: “It will be eight weeks now, almost two months this or next weekend. In the process he feels good and now he needs time to make the rhythm and we’ll start to give him minutes when he is fit.
“We’ll give him three or four days and hopefully against Burnley he can play his first minutes.”