Joan Laporta says Jose Mourinho is a fan of Barcelona and wanted to join the Catalan side, but that Pep Guardiola was a better option for the club.
The former Barca president, who was in charge from 2003 to 2010, insists the current Chelsea boss was on the Catalan giants' radar during Laporta's presidency, but that Guardiola's style of management fit better with the Liga champion's philosophy.
“Mourinho is a little bit of a Culé and he wanted to come to Barcelona, but it wasn't possible because we had decided to sign Guardiola as coach," he told El Pais.
Laporta's feud with Sandro Rosell was once again highlighted, with the 51-year-old branding the current Barca president as "neurotic and immature" only last month.
Now, he says Rosell's handling of Guardiola, the man who won 14 titles in four years at the club, was an important factor behind the coach's exit from the Catalan side, and also spoke of his own respect for Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez.
“I respect Florentino, and I’m not a friend of the current Barcelona chairman Rosell because all he has done has hurt me since he arrived," he continued.
“He [Guardiola] was forced to take up roles that weren’t in his remit. Pep had a lot of character and Rosell and his group weren't interested in that. Moreover, he reminded them too much of our term [Laporta's presidency] at Barcelona.”
Laporta also gave his thoughts on new 57 million-euro signing Neymar, who had to accept starting on the bench before coming on against Santos, as Barcelona thrashed his former club 8-0 in Gerardo Martino's debut as coach.
He added: “Neymar is very talented and I like that he has come to support the team and Messi. However, I also hope that Leo feels as comfortable as possible."