Manchester City's Barcelona connections run deep

Money can't buy trophies, but Manchester City are certainly trying. So much of the credit for winning goes to managers and players, but oftentimes the men behind the scenes who brought that personnel into a system and culture to succeed are worthy of the same praise.

Pep Guardiola is conquering England, but a Champions League trophy in Manchester is still eluding him. Over the course of the last few seasons, he's brought in players that fit the way he wants to play. Behind him, director of football Txiki Begiristain is pulling the strings and getting Guardiola the players that could help him get the job done.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Manchester City are paying Barcelona quite the flattering compliment by bringing one of the their greatest coaches and arguably one of their greatest executives. The comparisons don't stop there, as Begiristain and company have continued to use their pull in Catalonia to strike up a relationship with Girona as well as convince a number of La Masia talents to make the move to Manchester.

Dan spoke with The Athletic's Ryan Bailey about the connections between the two European giants: