Pep Guardiola backed Alexis Sanchez to get his career back on track in Italy after joining Inter Milan on loan from rivals Manchester United.
Guardiola had tried to bring the Chile international to the Etihad Stadium but, after United pipped City to his signature, watched on as Sanchez endured a frustrating spell at Old Trafford in which the once-prolific forward managed only five goals in 45 appearances, often relegated to the bench.
“I have a special affection for him as a player, of course, but especially as a human being,” said Guardiola, who worked with Sanchez at Barca (where he apparently struggled). “He’s an incredible, humble guy and a fighter.
“Now he decides to move to Italy with one of the greatest teams in Europe with Inter right now, with an incredible manager in Antonio Conte and I’m pretty sure they are going to do well.”
Guardiola said he has never given a moment’s thought to how things might have been different had Sanchez joined City instead, but said his failure at United was not all his own fault.
“Football players don’t depend on one player,” he said. “You judge it as a failure for just Alexis, but there are many reasons.
“One player might come here with me and not play one minute, it is not for him. But the quality is there, it is always there.
“They don’t play alone, it is not tennis, it is not golf. You play with 10 players against one system of the opponents. Many, many things are involved in one player performing well in the team.”