Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that a top four finish would “definitely” be like winning a trophy.
The statement had drawn criticism when Arsene Wenger had first made the claim in 2012, but Guardiola, in his first season in the Premier League, has agreed with him.
“Here yeah, in England definitely,” he said on Friday ahead of their English Premier League clash with Arsenal on Sunday.
He however clarified that a top-four finish was not more important than a victory in the FA Cup.
“No, I don’t say that [it’s better than winning the FA Cup], but it’s like winning a title, definitely. There are such strong teams, yeah.”
He added: “It’s important to try to be there, but six teams want to do that, so two teams will be out. Even Everton will be involved in that,” he added. “This year looks sometimes amazing. Chelsea and Liverpool didn’t play in Europe, and when you see Chelsea and Liverpool player [you wonder] what happened last season not to be even in the Europa League, so that’s how difficult it is.”
Guardiola also refused to comment on speculation that a finish outside the top four would affect his ability to sign players.
“The effect I don’t know,” he said. “I think you can seduce [new signings] not just about the salaries, the people want to play in the Premier League for many reasons, people can accept to come, but I don’t know. I cannot answer that. Maybe in the summer if we are not in the Champions League you can ask me and I can say we wanted to buy two or three players but they didn’t come because they want to be in Europe, then I will have the answer, but at this moment I don’t know.”