Manchester City turned down the chance to sign their new manager in waiting, Pep Guardiola, as a player, according to former boss Stuart Pearce.
In summer 2005, ex-Barcelona and Spain midfielder Guardiola had a trial with City but Pearce opted not to sign him.
Guardiola, 45, will replace Manuel Pellegrini in June after agreeing a three-year deal at the Etihad.
“If I knew how good he would be as a manager I would have given him my job,” Pearce told BBC Radio 5 live.
Guardiola, then 34 years old after leaving Al-Ahli in Dubai, had made more than 250 appearances for Barcelona, winning the European Cup once and La Liga six times.
He went on to make 10 appearance for Mexican side Dorados before retiring and subsequently became Barcelona’s most successful manager with 14 trophies in four years, while he has won the league twice in two seasons with current club Bayern Munich.
Manchester City, who included the likes goalkeeper David James, midfielder Trevor Sinclair and striker Darius Vassell in their squad, finished the 2005-06 season 15th in the Premier League.
“He trained with us for a few days,” said Pearce. “He had been playing in the middle east, and was looking for a contract, so he spent a few days with us.
“Smashing fella but, back then, I didn’t realise he would be a top manager. We didn’t have anything on the playing side but top man, top manager, what an acquisition for City.”
Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: Man City rejected Guardiola as player