Pep Guardiola has joked that he was not good enough to play for Wigan.
The Manchester City manager, who is preparing his side for an FA Cup fifth-round trip to the DW Stadium on Monday, held talks with the Latics towards the end of his playing career in 2005.
Wigan, then managed by Paul Jewell, were newly established in the Premier League while Guardiola was in his mid-30s and looking for a final challenge in a glittering career spent mainly with Barcelona.
No deal materialised but Guardiola, who also spoke to then City boss Stuart Pearce over a potential move to England around the same time, claims he was not up to standard.
“He tried to sign me when I was a football player, years ago,” said Guardiola, now 47, of Jewell’s attempts to lure him to Wigan. “I wasn’t good enough!
“That is the truth. I was old, really old as a football player. I knocked on the door, I tried to come here to play in English football as a player 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.”