Belfast Telegraph

Pep Guardiola could have joined Manchester City over a decade ago

Pep Guardiola says he holds no grudges with Stuart Pearce after revealing he turned down the former Manchester City manager's offer of a six-month deal in the twilight of his playing career.

Guardiola was paraded as City's new boss on Sunday after the Premier League side's long chase for the Spaniard was finalised back in February.

Yet the 45-year-old former Bayern Munich manager claims he could have been associated with City sooner had he accepted a short-term contract from Pearce in 2005.

Guardiola was seeking a move to the Premier League after leaving Qatari outfit Al Ahli and was sounded out by Pearce - City's boss between 2005 and 2007.

However, the terms on offer did not appeal to the ex-Barcelona midfielder, and the Catalan accepts it was probably for the best.

Speaking to, Guardiola said: "I have to say something - Stuart Pearce was right. Definitely. I came here at 33-34 years old and in that time as a football player I was definitely a disaster.

"It was so intelligent not to pick me up. My dream in that time was to play in the Premier League.

"He offered me one half year - not a complete season. I had to wonder about family, I can not live without them and in the end we didn't decide (to sign). When you analyse in that moment my physical condition I think it was the right decision. Don't pick Pep up."

One of Guardiola's first tasks at the Etihad Stadium will be to navigate his way through Champions League qualifiers after City pipped rivals Manchester United to fourth place last season.

Asked if he was worried about his new employers missing out on the Champions League last term, Guardiola said: "No. That situation is better than Manchester United."

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