Former Manchester City defender, Eliaquim Mangala, has revealed that manager Pep Guardiola told him to leave the club because he ‘wasn’t what he was looking for at Etihad.
Mangala signed for Man City from Porto back in 2014 for a fee of £32 million.
The arrival of Guardiola at Man City in 2016 led to a significant decrease in Mangala’s playing time at the Premier League champions.
Mangala had loan spells at Valencia and Everton before eventually departing Man City permanently in 2019.
However, the Frenchman has now revealed that Guardiola’s decision not to feature him as a regular starter was because of his playing style rather than his ability.
When asked if he felt any disappointment regarding his time at Manchester City, Mangala told Get French Football News: “Not disappointment. Why? Because when he [Guardiola] arrived, I was told I should leave, that I should find another solution. There was an offer at Inter Milan, but financially it didn’t work.
“At the end of the transfer window, I was still [at Man City]. At that point, the coach came up to me and spoke very sincerely to me. He said, ‘there wasn’t any solution, and you are here. You have a very specific profile, which in terms of my playing style, is not what I am looking for.’ He spoke to me very honestly.
“He continued, ‘but you are here and we have four central defenders. We are going to work together, and you will be ready to play every match and we have lots of matches, and so you will have playing time because there are characteristics that you possess and that I need that others don’t have.
“You’re a very good player, it is just that regarding the profile I am looking for, for my style of play, you are not what I am looking for.’ That was it. I don’t have any problem with that. I can’t be disappointed because the coach knows what he wants. It is not about my qualities, it is about my profile.”
Mangala was Guardiola’s fourth-choice of center-back at Man City as he was behind the likes of John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi in the pecking order.