Gael Clichy: Ex-Man City defender on Man Utd, Pep Guardiola and Turkey

Former Arsenal and Manchester City defender Gael Clichy says it would be “special and tremendous” if his side Istanbul Basaksehir were to face Manchester United in the Europa League.

The Turkish champions travel to FC Copenhagen in the last 16 on Wednesday with a 1-0 lead from the first leg.

A quarter-final tie with United would await, providing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side see off LASK.

“It’s no secret I love England,” Clichy said.

“We have to win our first game and that will be hard, so we cannot afford to think about United.

“But if we go through and play United, it would be special and tremendous. We would play with our quality.”

Clichy was speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Euro Leagues podcast, in which the 35-year-old discussed his career, why he would love to return to England one day and how he hopes to follow in Pep Guardiola’s footsteps.

Expecting the unexpected in Turkey

Istanbul Basaksehir sealed the Turkish championship on 19 July, ending the dominance of the city’s big three clubs Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas.

They are only the sixth team to win the league since its inception in 1959, an impressive achievement for a club that formed only 30 years ago.

“We have been a bit lucky and we managed to do it,” said Clichy.

“It is a very big achievement. Since 1959, only five other teams have won the league in Turkey so for us to come in and do it is a really big achievement.”

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