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Pep Guardiola fires brutal dig at Chelsea star

The Manchester City boss couldn’t resist a jibe

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has aimed a brutal dig at one-time Chelsea record transfer Romelu Lukaku as he discussed Barcelona’s time under Xavi.

The Cityzens scooped a historic treble in 2022-23, which culminated in a narrow 1-0 win over Inter Milan in Istanbul courtesy of an excellent strike from Rodri.

However, it could have been very different, with Lukaku missing a glorious opportunity to level the tie before blocking an effort from his own teammate just yards out in a horror cameo performance from the Belgian.

Speaking about the success of Barcelona in his absence, Guardiola urged his former side to stick with Xavi and aimed a brutal jibe in Lukaku’s direction in the process.

“Give Xavi a little time, it took us 8 years to win the UCL”, the Spaniard began.

“I’m European champion because a striker missed a clear header from 3 yards away. Xavi knows it better than I do – when you win La Liga, you’ve been the best team.”

He appears desperate to hold out for a return to Inter Milan in some capacity, though the Italian side cannot afford to pay the sort of transfer fee that would tempt Chelsea into selling.

A loan move has been floated but has so far ultimately come to nothing, while Mauricio Pochettino is thought to be open to reconciling Lukaku with the rest of the squad should the striker be keen to work with the new Chelsea boss, though there have been no indications that he is.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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