Arsene Wenger sensationally claimed, Pep Guardiola once wanted to join Arsenal during his playing career and even had several discussions with the French manager. Pep later backed Wenger’s claim.
Wenger will face Guardiola on Wednesday night hoping for a second win over Bayern Munich in a fortnight spell keeping alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of Champions League this season.
However, according to the Arsenal manager, they could have shared a dressing-room once if Guardiola was signed by the Gunners during his playing career. Pep completed a memorable career as a footballer with Barcelona before a stint in Serie A, but things could have been different for the current Bayern Munich manager if his dream came true.
During the pre-match press conference, Wenger revealed the Spain international could have played under him in north London after he finished career in Barcelona.
“He wanted to play with me as a coach,” Wenger told.
“He wanted to play for Arsenal. I met him, he was 30-31 back then.
“I can’t really remember, after that he went to Italy and I had players like (Patrick) Vieira and (Emmanuel) Petit who were still young and played for the national team as well.”
After rejected by Arsenal and Wenger, Pep Guardiola then joined Brescia in 2001 for a free transfer and went on to play for Roma before spells with Al-Ahli in Qatar and a Mexican side Dorados.
He then began his coaching career which has given him 19 major silverwares at Barcelona and Bayern.
Wenger also admitted, “What I admire is that his team are very positive, very attacking,” Wenger said of the 44-year-old.
“He has a positive mentality and a positive attitude towards football. That is why he adapted very well to Bayern — he is a great coach.”
After losing the first two Group F matches, Arsenal still have a tough challenge to make it to the next stage of Champions League despite producing a shock victory over the German giants Bayern just a fortnight ago.
Apart from losing to Sheffield in Capital One Cup last Wednesday, Wenger’s squad is currently on an excellent run of form and are only being left in the second spot in Premier League due to a superior goal difference of Manchester City.
A famous win once again tonight at Allianz Arena would give the Gunners a boost in their fight to reach the knock-out stages and Arsene Wenger now keen to see his boys prove, Arsenal have this season blossomed into a complete team who can challenge heavily for top honours.