Vincent Kompany's return to Manchester City as manager one day is "written in the stars" according to Pep Guardiola as he prepares to take on his former player in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Kompany has made a huge impression in his first season as Burnley manager, with his side 12 points clear at the top of the second-tier Championship.
The former City captain will return to the Etihad in the last eight of the FA Cup in two weeks' time.
"He will be back sooner or later. I think his destiny to be the manager of Manchester City is already written in the stars," said Guardiola on Friday.
"It's going to happen. I don't know when, but it is going to happen.
"It is my feeling. Maybe I am wrong. But he has the attributes – work ethic, knowledge of the game, well respected, experienced.
"Doing what he has done is so difficult and he is doing really well. He knows the club, the environment, the fans, what our people need. The destiny is there."
Of more immediate concern for current City manager Guardiola is a Premier League match at home to Newcastle on Saturday.
Reigning champions City are five points behind leaders Arsenal and cannot afford many more slip-ups in the final 13 games of the season if they are to retain their title.
Fuelled by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, fifth-placed Newcastle are in the running to qualify for the Champions League.
But the Magpies have only won once in the league in 2023 and missed out on a long-awaited trophy by losing to Manchester United in the League Cup final last weekend.
"From what I've seen lately, even the Carabao (League) Cup final against Manchester United, they are one of the toughest opponents we have until the end of the season," added Guardiola.
"In terms of experience, threat, transitions, and set-pieces they are the best team in the league.
"That's why they've been there all season. It happened last season and this season, they made a step forward. It looks like they came to stay here."
City could be boosted by the return of defenders John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, with Guardiola confirming both centre-backs had returned to training.