Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he almost joined Wigan during his playing days, only to be deemed not good enough.

Now one of the most decorated managers in world football, Guardiola also enjoyed a fine career as a midfielder, playing over 250 times for Barcelona.

And it has been reported that, when he was a free agent in 2005, he discussed a switch to Wigan, who were Premier League new boys back then.

Guardiola takes his side to Wigan in the FA Cup on Monday
Guardiola takes his side to Wigan in the FA Cup on Monday

Guardiola will be at Wigan on Monday with City for an FA Cup fifth round tie, as his all-conquering team continue their bid to win a quadruple.

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And, asked ahead of the tie if a move to Wigan as a player had indeed once been in the offing, Guardiola said: “Years ago, yes.”

To much merriment, he added: “I was not good enough, that is the truth.

“I was old, really old!

Wigan beat Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final
Wigan beat Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final

“I knocked on the door, I tried to come here to play in English football, but I was not able.

“The same happened here at Manchester City, when I came here with Stuart Pearce. They were so clever! I was not good enough.”

Pep Guardiola played in Qatar in 2005
Pep Guardiola played in Qatar in 2005

Regarding his team for Monday, Guardiola says Claudio Bravo will be in goal rather than first-choice ‘keeper Ederson.

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“Claudio is going to play,” said Guardiola.

Claudio Bravo will be in goal at Wigan on Monday night
Claudio Bravo will be in goal at Wigan on Monday night

“We are in the Carabao Cup final (against Arsenal next weekend) thanks to him. I cannot forget what happened – he saved two rounds of penalties.

“It all depends on the performance and the quality but, in this competition, Claudio is going to play.

“In the top clubs you need two good goalkeepers, you cannot survive with just one – (what) if he is injured or suspended and the second one doesn’t have the level?

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“All the big clubs who play a lot of competitions have two good goalkeepers and we have that.”

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