Guardiola believes old foe Mourinho has turned Tottenham into title contenders

Pep Guardiola reckons Tottenham have become title contenders once again under his old rival Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho celebrates a year in charge of Spurs today, ahead of Saturday's meeting with Guardiola's City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

City boss Guardiola reckons Mourinho has restored Spurs, currently second in the Premier League, to the status of title contenders, and is expecting a tough test tomorrow.

"The numbers speak for themselves," said Guardiola.

"They dropped points against Newcastle and West Ham in the last minute, so they could have four more points.

"They are contenders, the quality they’ve got is always there.

"They were in the final of the Champions League, they’ve been exceptional for four or five years, they have a fantastic squad."

Asked how he felt Mourinho had done in his year at Spurs, Guardiola said: "Really good, as always in all the clubs."

After tying Guardiola down to a two-year contract extension until 2023, City will increase their efforts to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona as a free agent in the summer.

But Guardiola, mindful of his lifelong affiliation with his former club, repeated his claim that he would like to see Messi finish his career at Barca. although he did leave the door open to a potential move, by admitting he does not know what the superstar wants.

"He’s a player for Barca, and if you ask my opinion, I have a huge gratitude for what Barca has done for me," said Guardiola.

"They gave me everything, so what I want is for him to finish his career there. I’ve said maybe a thousand times for Leo to finish there.

"But he has a year to finish and I don’t know what happens in his mind.

"He’s a Barca player and the transfer market is in July. We’ve targets to achieve and the rest I cannot say anything else, as always."

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