City rejected Guardiola as a player

Manchester City had the opportunity to sign future manager Pep Guardiola as a player 11 years ago, but opted not to do so. 

Guardiola, who will take over at the Etihad nexct season, had just finished a two-year stint with Al Ahli before he had a trial with City in the summer of 2005.

However, then-manager Stuart Pearce did not see anything special in Guardiola as a player, but joked that he would have made him manager of the club had he known how good of a manager Guardiola would become.

“If I knew how good he would be as a manager I would have given him my job,” Pearce told BBC Radio 5 live. “He trained with us for a few days. He had been playing in the Middle East, and was looking for a contract.

“Smashing fella but, back then, I didn’t realise he would be a top manager. We didn’t have anything on the playing side but top man, top manager, what an acquisition for City.”

The 45-year-old Spaniard will succeed Manuel Pellegrini as City’s manager in June.