Having managed Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has one of the more prestigious records in the history of football.

However, it appears he is also a man of principle who respects his former clubs to the point where he is reluctant to sign players from there after leaving them.

This is what Martí Perarnau revealed to AS on Friday in an interview about his new book about the seven years Guardiola has spent at Manchester City.

Nearly 700 pages long, the ‘autopsy’, as it’s described, ‘God Save Pep’ will come out in England on March 19th in paperback format, where a lot will be revealed about the Spaniard’s time in the north of England.

Perarnau was also happy to answer a few questions about some details, such as the idea that Manchester City came close to signing Lionel Messi from Barcelona.

Saying that it was an ‘urban legend’ that Guardiola wanted to sign Barcelona’s best players, he then touched upon the rumours surrounding the Argentine football legend.

He said: “It was Messi who offered himself. The one who knocked on the door was Leo (the Argentine striker’s entourage denies this). Pep had his reticence. He is very clear not to touch Barça and not to touch Bayern. City had a list of Bayern players to sign, and Pep told Txiki not to touch anyone. And there was a lot of them, almost al of them except for the goalkeeper.”

Over the years since taking over in 2016, Guardiola has signed just one player from Barcelona (Claudio Bravo for €18m) and never purchased anyone from Bayern Munich.

He has, however, agreed to send players the other way, as Leroy Sane was sold to Bayern Munich for €49m, while João Cancelo has been on loan both to the German and Spanish sides.

As for Eric García, Sergio Agüero and Ilkay Gündogan, they all left Manchester City for Barcelona on free transfers.