Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan sees a lot of similarities between Pep Guardiola and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp.
The midfielder was speaking at a news conference in New York city as part of the announcement of the International Champions Cup 2017, where City are set to face their archrivals United in their preseason tour of the United States.
Gundogan, 26, became the first new arrival of Guardiola's tenure at the Etihad Stadium after completing a move from Borussia Dortmund for around £21 million.
His time at City has been disrupted by a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in the 2-0 win over Watford in December last year, and is still trying to get back to full fitness.
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Having worked with both managers -- Klopp was his coach at Dortmund before joining Liverpool -- the German international reckons both men have a lot in common.
"I see a lot of similarities, to be honest, between both [coaches]," Gundogan told ESPN FC.
"Both have the ability to be a good friend to a player, with the way they speak to the players. They are both sympathetic. But they know the right moment when to be serious. For us players, that is a very important factor.
"Of course, what we do is what we love -- we want to enjoy it, we want to have as much fun as possible. But we have to be serious and it is difficult to find the right balance. Both have that ability."
Despite not being part of the team due to injury, Gundogan has seen enough in Guardiola to know he is working with one of the best in the business.
He said: "For me, it starts with his aura. How he's coaching a team and how he presents himself -- not just to the players, but to the public.
"Also, the way he speaks to us, how much he trusts us. He just tries to do the best for each player. I think for a manager, that's the most difficult thing -- to get all players, even the ones who don't play so much, to get to a good level.
"He knows how the players are thinking. He knows what we think, how we react. Obviously he has the ability to make everyone better. I've never seen a player who gets worse after [working under] Guardiola."
As for City matching their cross-town rivals United on the world football map, Gundogan is confident that with hard work and commitment within the camp, that day will come.
"That [matching United] is what we try to achieve. We have big targets. We have things we want to achieve. We just started, you know, it's a long process," he added.
"We want to get better year by year, and we are working on it -- to lift up the club to higher levels. If the club is successful, we will be successful as well.
ESPN's Sam Borden contributed to this report.