Manchester City didn’t sign Guardiola in 2005

Manchester, Feb 9 (IANS) Manchester City’s former coach Stuart Pearce says the English football club missed a chance to recruit Spanish Pep Guardiola over a decade ago when he departed from Qatari club Al-Ahli.

Pearce, who took the helm of the ‘Citizens’ between March 2005 and May 2007, explained that Guardiola, then aged 34, trained for “a couple of days” with the first team of the club in summer 2005, reports Efe.

“I met him a few years ago when I was Man City manager. He was playing in the Middle East at the time, and he and his agent came over. He trained with us for a couple of days and was looking for a contract. I’m afraid at the time we didn’t have a lot to offer him,” Pearce, 53, told British broadcaster Sky Sports.

“If I’d have known how good a manager he was, he could have had my job!” Pearce joked. “We would’ve cut out all this period he’s had in management and got him to Man City!”

Guardiola, 45, was announced on February 1 as the new coach of the English team as of next season to replace Manuel Pellegrini. The Catalan coach has emerged as one of the best coaches in the world after his experiences in Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

“Now they’ve got him in place and he’s an outstanding manager. It puts a marker down to the league,” Pearce added.

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