Pep Guardiola is usually a darling of the Catalan media, and similar can be said for Manchester City.
The manager’s connection is obvious and his club were wooing the Barcelona based sport media even before Pep arrived in Manchester.
But there’s a column today from Mundo Deportivo which displays a certain bitterness with Guardiola and how his City have gone about several transfers, and what they have planned going forward.
Marcal Lorente says he’s not being a ‘heretic’ against the ‘Guardiolistas’ by pointing out some irritations.
It’s explained that according to Football Leaks, the manager made a commitment to Manchester City whilst still Bayern Munich manager in October 2015, not long after the German season had begun: ‘Working for a company having committed to your competition so early would not be the most ethical. That season he had his head in two clubs at the same time.’
Another thing to have annoyed Lorente is that in 2011, whilst still Barcelona manager, Guardiola encouraged Catalans to ‘get up early’ to work and make Catalonia an ‘unstoppable country’ but then went on a year sabbatical to New York.
Whilst on that break, it’s claimed the manager met Neymar’s father to try and persuade him that a move to Bayern Munich would be best, therefore trying to scupper Barcelona’s efforts to sign the player.
Lorente then moves on to recently reported quotes attributed to Khaldoon al Mubarak, which stated City tried to sign Messi three times and even got Guardiola to speak to him directly. The veracity of these quotes has been dismissed by City, but the Mundo Deportivo column doesn’t mention that.
Then comes taking Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich and Claudio Bravo to City, more irritations.
So why now? What has Pep done recently to annoy Lorente so much and prompt this column?
Well this seems to be it: ‘Now he is launching an offensive to conquer the Blaugrana goal De Jong.’
The Catalan media had been super confident about Barcelona’s chances of signing Frenkie de Jong from Ajax, but have recently started to raise the white flag in the face of competition from Manchester City and PSG.
Lorente goes on to say City have take talents from La Masia, and are continuing their attempts to sign Ilaix Moriba. There’s been reports about the English club trying to sign the 15 year old La Masia talent for some time, and in October it was said Barca are ‘one step away’ from losing him.
There’s a final dig about ‘financial doping’ before the whole thing is brought to an end.