The pair clashed during their tenures at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, and with only four miles separating Old Trafford and Guardiola’s Manchester City this summer, they will likely renew hostilities in the coming months.
However, Mourinho is aware of the fact that he can ill-afford to be distracted by just being concerned by Guardiola and City, with the likes of Arsene Wenger, Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp all hoping to compete for the title next year.
“What has happened in the past does not allow me to be innocent,” he said at a lecture on football coaching in Lisbon. “For two years Pep and I were in a league where the champion would be either me or him, Real Madrid or Barcelona.
“In a situation like this, individual fights make sense because they can influence things. [But] in the Premier League, if I focus on him and Manchester City, and he on me and Manchester United, someone else is going to win the league.”
It promises to be a highly competitive year in the Premier League next season, a fact not lost on the Portuguese who insists that the playing field is much more level in England compared to elsewhere in Europe.
“In Germany, over the past five years, the same team has won it four times, in France it’s Paris Saint-Germain who have won four times in the last four years,” he added. “In Spain, Atletico Madrid won it once while Barcelona claimed three.
“In England, however, there have been four different champions in four years. In addition, revenues from TV rights are distributed more equally than in other countries where the sharks are sharks.”