Pep Guardiola says he tried to sign with Wigan Athletic at the end of his playing career, though Wigan's manager at the time remembers the encounter differently.

By 90Min
February 19, 2018

Pep Guardiola has revealed that he once came close to signing for Wigan Athletic way back in 2005, ahead of his Manchester City side's FA Cup fifth-round tie against the Latics on Monday night.

At the time, Pep was a 34-year-old free agent having just finished his time with La Liga giants Barcelona, and was without doubt at the back end of his playing days in the middle of the park.

However, there are two rather contrasting stories regarding why the Spaniard did not sign for the then Premier League outfit, and the Man City boss seems to think he wasn't wanted at the DW:

"I was not good enough!" Guardiola told reporters in the press conference ahead of City's encounter with Wigan, via Daily Mail.

"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, Wigan's manager at the time, Paul Jewell, Pep decided against signing for his side - instead opting for Qatar.

"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."

Spend a year Lancashire, playing in a league that you're too old to keep up with, and risk freezing to death in the arctic temperatures of a winter in the north of England, or take a massive pay day, in the luxurious Middle East, showing up amateur footballers on a regular basis. You can't help but wonder why Pep chose the latter...

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