Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed he tried in vain to persuade Arsene Wenger to sign him for Arsenal during his playing career.
The 47-year-old enjoyed a successful playing career before becoming a manager, representing European giants Barcelona and AS Roma. However, he was unable to secure a dream move to Highbury.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final between his side and Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, Guardiola said: “I would have liked to have played for him.
“I called him to make an interview and he invited me to his home. He was so kind. I said my dream is to play in the Premier League and I would like to play with you and I feel I can help you. Maybe it was a little bit arrogant but he had his squad and he said there was no space.
“I understand completely, but I would have liked to have played with him. It was not possible, so no problem at all.”
Guardiola admitted he is flattered by comparisons with the Frenchman’s managerial style, claiming: “He likes one type of player, with quality and respect for the ball. They are things I like a lot, so if people say we play a little bit like Arsenal of the last 20 years then it’s good for us.”
After Sunday’s clash, City will face the Gunners again on Thursday – this time in the Premier League. Guardiola will be hoping to see off his former idol on both occasions, thereby all but ending Arsenal’s hopes of silverware and Champions League qualification.