Former Manchester City youngster Jadon Sancho (Getty Images)
Pep Guardiola has insisted that he holds no regrets over Jadon Sancho’s Manchester City exit as the one-time academy prospect prepares to face his former club in a competitive game for the first time.
City will play Sancho’s Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League quarter-finals following Friday’s draw in Nyon, with their home leg set to be played on 6 April.
Sancho left the Etihad in 2017 in a £7m deal in search of regular first-team football at the age of just 17 having rejected City’s offers of a new contract.
Guardiola wanted Sancho to stay but accepted his decision to join Dortmund, where he has since become one of the most highly-rated and highly-coveted young talents in European football.
When asked whether he regrets Sancho’s decision to leave Manchester, Guardiola said: “I said many times, not a regret, he decides.
“He’s doing really well, congratulations, an exceptional player. A national team player with huge quality, doing really well in Dortmund.
“We want him to stay but he decides to leave, when they decide to leave all we can do is they leave. I wish him all the best except when he plays against us. If he’s happy, I’m happy.”
The City manager said he cannot know what would have happened had Sancho decided to stay at the Etihad and develop under him, as Phil Foden – an academy team-mate of Sancho – has.
“Nobody knows, maybe the stays and we don’t play good or better. The life of every person decides the life they lead, the other people have to respect.
“We want him, he decides to go, all the best. We will face him, try to control him. We know the quality he has, everyone knows.
“The individual quality in Dortmund is from all departments, a strong team. In the Champions League always has done well many many years. We have to prepare well.”