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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Mourinho 'wanted Pep as assistant'

Jose Mourinho wanted Pep Guardiola as his assistant had he been given the job as Barcelona manager, according to former Barca vice-president Marc Ingla.

• Xavi: Barcelona not unbeatable

Ingla claimed Mourinho was in the frame to replace Frank Rijkaard, whose tenure as Barca coach finished at the end of the 2007-08 season.

''We had a meeting with him [Mourinho] and his representative in a bank in Lisbon but we never seriously wanted to negotiate with him,'' Ingla told AS. ''Jorge Mendes [Mourinho's agent] was very insistent he wanted to see us.

''Mourinho showed us a PowerPoint slide show presentation summarising his football philosophy, how to enhance our classic 4-3-3 system, the ups and downs he had in his mind and even people who could work on his coaching staff.

''He gave us the names of Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Sergi Barjuan and [Albert] Chapi Ferrer as possible choices to become his assistant.''

But Ingla revealed Guardiola was chosen as coach because he was preferred by then director of football Txiki Begiristain.

He said: ''(Pep) was Txiki's first choice and because Mourinho told me he was not going to change his attitude towards the media we were not entirely convinced with Mourinho at the time.''

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