Mourinho vs. Guardiola: Battle of Manchester Begins With John Stones

Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho
Pep Guardiola (left) and Jose Mourinho at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, April 16, 2011. Guardiola and Mourinho will both look to bring John Stones to their clubs. JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty

The old rivalry has been reignited. Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola could barely remain civil while in the same country, now they're set to go shoulder-to-shoulder in the same city.

The fierce rivalry between the two managers, which began in Spain with Mourinho at Real Madrid and Guardiola at Barcelona, will resume this season as the duo take their places in Manchester.

Mourinho is due to be announced as the new manager at Manchester United while Guardiola's move to Manchester City has been common knowledge since February. But the competition has already began as both look to lure John Stones from Everton.

Bids reaching around £45 million for the defender were made by Mourinho while at Chelsea last season, but consistently repelled by the Toffees. With an expected £200 million in cash at his disposal, Mourinho is likely to return for the 21-year-old this summer.

City has also been an admirer of the dynamic defender, as has Barcelona, where Guardiola started his career. Stones fits into the Guardiola philosophy. He has great confidence in possession and is happy to play out from the back. Let the bidding war commence.

Guardiola has the edge over Mourinho, as his teams have claimed victory in seven out of the 15 times the pair have gone head-to-head. Mourinho's have won just three.

The usually composed Guardiola gets riled by his rivalry with Mourinho. Before a Champions League semi-final between Real and Barcelona in 2011, the Spaniard was apparently pushed too far by Mourinho's mind games, claiming Guardiola criticized referees. This drew the Barca man to refer to Mourinho as "the f***ing boss" in a press conference.

They may complete the necessary pleasantry of a handshake prior to the two Manchester derbies next season—games each will be desperate to win.

First, is the battle for Stones. Whoever misses out on the defender will see it as a blow before the season has even begun.

Let the games begin.