Spanish journalist claims Pep Guardiola thinks Manchester City are "a second-tier team in the Premier League"

Lu Martin compared the side to Villarreal

Spanish journalist claims Pep Guardiola thinks Manchester City are "a second-tier team in the Premier League"

Picture by Martin Rickett PA Wire/PA Images

A Spanish journalist claims that Pep Guardiola feels his Manchester City side are the English equivalent of Villarreal.

Lu Martin, is a widely-respected football journalist in Spain. In 2001, he worked with Guardiola to co-write a book about his career and footballing beliefs, named 'La meva gent, el meu futbol'

In a interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser on Monday, Marin was defending Guardiola's performances with Manchester City, comparing the team to La Liga's 'Yellow Submarine'. 

"At the moment his challenge is Manchester City, who are a team like Villarreal in La Liga, for example, a team which is not one of the top sides." ESPN reported Martin said. "I am not giving my opinion, I am telling you what Guardiola thinks, they are like a second-tier team in the Premier League".

"He is in England, with a small team, we must realise that, Manchester City is not the best team in England. There are many teams which can compete financially in England. Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea [are financially stronger teams]. He has come to England to compete and he is doing that."

While Martin's opinion has not been confirmed on denied by Guardiola, it's certainly an embarrassing situation for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager.

Villarreal have never won a major Spanish title, with their main success coming in winning the 2003 and 2004 Intertoto Cups. In comparison, Manchester City have won four league titles, five FA Cups and a Cup Winners Cup.