Pep Guardiola has revealed he almost signed for Wigan Athletic — their FA Cup opponents on Monday – but wasn’t considered good enough, even though the then Wigan manager has a different story.
The former Barcelona boss claims he came close to playing for Wigan in 2005, when he was a 34-year-old free agent.
But there is disagreement over why. According to Guardiola, the Latics did not want him.
“I was not good enough!” Guardiola said ahead of the fifth-round tie against the club who now play in League One. “I was really old. I tried to come here to play in English football. The same happened when I came to Manchester City, with Stuart Pearce, they were (both) so clever because I was not good enough.”
However, Paul Jewell, the Wigan manager at the time, tells a different story.
“I got a call from Guardiola’s agent and I rang Pep and left a message,” Jewell explained. “Five minutes later he (Guardiola) rang me back. He knew all about Wigan, all about our players — I was really impressed.
“He told me he would like to come and play in the Premier League. He was all set to come when his agent called me saying Pep had received a mind-blowing offer from Qatar. So it was Qatar or Wigan.”