The Bayern Munich manager, Pep Guardiola, has revealed that Manchester United wanted to buy a clutch of his players this summer but the Old Trafford club’s wealth was not enough to persuade them to leave.
Guardiola nodded when it was put to him ahead of his side’s opening Champions League fixture against Manchester City tonight that United tried to buy Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben as they embarked on their huge spending spree this summer. But he 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 outlay of more than £150m, breaking the British transfer record for Angel Di Maria and assembling an all-star new squad. “I saw they spent this kind of money. 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 another 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, who confirmed Franck Ribéry’s knee injury will keep him out of tonight’s match, warned that United’s absence from the competition confirmed the risks big clubs 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. Every week you have got to show you are ready.”
Manchester United 4 QPR 0 player ratings
Manchester United 4 QPR 0 player ratings
1/22 David de Gea
Was found wanting in the first half after very nearly being caught out by Matty Phillips. Did well to save from Armand Traore in the second period, however. 7
Posed a considerable threat throughout the match down the right flank and broke effectively. A good outlet for United. 7
3/22 Marcos Rojo
Slotted into the Manchester United backline with ease. Looked decent with the ball at his feet and showed a willingness to get forward. 7
4/22 Tyler Blackett
Perhaps a misfit on a teamsheet of Galacticos, the young defender didn't look out of place in Louis van Gaal's side. 7
5/22 Jonny Evans
Needed to be alert to a QPR counter attack in the first half but had precious little to do. 7
6/22 Angel Di Maria
Showed the ambition and ability to really trouble a poor QPR side at Old Trafford. His goal had an element of luck about it but his quality is undeniable. A man of the match display. 9
7/22 Daley Blind
Cut a composed figure at the heart of Manchester United's midfield and showed the Red Devils supporters exactly what they've been missing of late. 8
8/22 Ander Herrera
Took his goal really well and linked Manchester United's defensive midfielders up with the more attacking players brilliantly. 8
9/22 Wayne Rooney
Seems more mature with the captain's armband on. The England man put in another decent shift and grabbed himself an impressive goal too. 7
10/22 Robin van Persie
While the Dutchman always poses a considerable threat, he looks out of sorts at the moment. 6
11/22 Bets of the bench: Radamel Falcao
Didn't have long to make his mark but showed enough drive to enthuse the Old Trafford regulars. 7
12/22 Rob Green
Any goalkeeper who concedes four goals isn't going to score too highly. Made a number of decent saves which keeps his score respectable. 5
13/22 Mauricio Isla
Was brought to the club to give QPR a threat down the flank but continues to struggle in English football. 5
14/22 Steven Caulker
While the former Cardiff City man didn't do a great deal wrong, he went missing for large periods. 5
15/22 Rio Ferdinand
Would have had dreams last night of scoring the winner against his old club but was easily overrun by the new United talent. 5
16/22 Clint Hill
Taken off at half-time, his deflection took Angel di Maria's cross into his own net. A poor afternoon. 5
17/22 Junior Hoilett
Made little impact on the game but shouldn't let it get him down. These aren't the games which count for Rangers. 5
18/22 Niko Kranjcar
Showed glimpses of class but, like many of his team-mates, he failed to make his mark. 5
Didn't look match-fit at times and subsequently delivered a lukewarm performance on his debut. 5
20/22 Leroy Fer
Returned to the Premier League with QPR after relegation with Norwich City. Did little to suggest he will avoid that fate again. 5
21/22 Charlie Austin
A dangerous player at QPR's disposal but was left isolated for large periods. 6
22/22 Matty Phillips
Was bitterly unlucky not to score in the first half after David de Gea's error but it wasn't to be. 6
The extraordinary gulf in spending this summer between the Premier League – whose clubs laid out £835m – and the Bundesliga, where the outlay was £250m, is symbolised by Xabi Alonso. He joined Bayern from Real Madrid for £5m while even Fulham in the Championship laid out double that amount to Leeds United for Ross McCormack.
Guardiola said that he would like to have a Premier League-sized spending pot too, but insisted Bayern were growing in a more incremental way. “We would like to spend that money too,” he said. “When the Premier League is spending, that’s because they have this money.
“This club in the last 24 years has been judged for success. It’s a long process here. They care about the fans.
“That’s why this club is fascinating, amazing, special in this way. You have to fight and we’re going to try, we knew that. We can spend money when need to buy a player but also within the regular rules.”
Guardiola did not entirely dismiss the idea of managing in the Premier League, saying: “I always get the same question, City, Manchester and Arsenal.
“I don’t know. I’m really happy here. When I was at Barcelona I never thought I’d become manager of Bayern Munich.”
On Ribéry, Guardiola added: “He is definitely not playing, he’s at home. He has to go to doctors and they told me he cannot play, that’s all. Arjen [Robben] could play – we will try.”
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