Manchester City recently announced that Pep Guardiola would succeed Manuel Pellegrini towards the end of the current campaign, and ex-manager Stuart Pearce recently stated that he would have given him his role instead of turning him down when the Spaniard underwent a trial at Etihad Stadium in 2005.
However, agent Tony Sharkey has contradicted the claims of the England manager, stating that family related issues made the former Barcelona midfielder turn down a six-month contract. Talking to Talksport, he revealed that his client had only wanted to experience the Premier League after winning almost everything at Camp Nou.
“He was 34. He’d been out in Qatar for two years, where he’d been player of the year each season and he took it really seriously,” told the agent. “He wasn’t on holiday as some managers said. He had not been to the beach for two years.
“He was in very, very good shape. When he arrived at Manchester airport there was not a bit of fat on him. He was in good shape and he had a good week with Manchester City. He still had enough in the locker and, in fact, I heard Stuart’s comments and Stuart did in fact offer him a deal.
“He was offered six months and he turned it down – if he was going to bring his family over he wanted to come for a year. So he turned the deal down at the time and he just wanted an opportunity to experience the Premier League.”
The 45-year-old has won 19 of the 30 competitions that he has competed in, including four La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues, two Bundesliga titles (the Bavarians currently enjoy an eight-point cushion at the top) and three FIFA Club World Cups. He will be expected to help the Citizens establish themselves as the most dominant English club, given the plights of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Newspapers have already started reporting that the Spaniard’s arrival at Manchester City would coincide with the signing of Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and other such world-class players to replace the aging Yaya Toure and the likes. For the first time in history, rumours linking the Argentine superstar with a move away from Barcelona make sense.