Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola confirmed yesterday that Manchester United wanted to buy a number of his players this summer but said that the Old Trafford club couldn’t afford them and they didn’t want to leave for the Premier League anyway.
Guardiola nodded when it as put to him that United tried to buy Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben but declared that even United’s wealth means nothing when players do not want to make a move.
“They don’t have enough money,” Guardiola said of United’s spend of more than £150m, which has seen them break the British transfer record for Angel Di Maria and assemble an all-star new squad.
“I saw they spent this kind of money,” the manager added.
“They didn’t have enough money. I saw they spent a lot of money. It’s good for my friend Louis [van Gaal]. It’s part of the game. All of the clubs in the world want the players of anther club. It depends on the player. If the player wants to play he will play. If he wants to stay he will stay. I know Manchester wants these kinds of players.”
The Spaniard confirmed he will be is without Franck Ribery at the Allianz Arena as his Bayern side launch another Champions League campaign against Premier League champions Manchester City.
He said that United’s absence confirmed the risks big club incur if they are complacent about qualifying for the Champions League, year after year. It is 18 years since United were last absent from the tournament, as they are this season.
“It’s a good lesson for the big clubs,” Guardiola said.
“They think ‘we are unbeatable and strong’ and they are not here. Maybe the next season they are out. That’s why football is magnificent. Every single week you have to be ready. [The domestic leagues are a huge test because] Every week you have got to show you are ready. [But in the Champions League you have a bad 45 minutes and you’re out.].”