Listen to article
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of returning to Camp Nou, clearly stating that his ‘period as Barcelona manager is over’.
Speculation over the Spaniard’s future at Manchester City is beginning to intensify as he approaches the last six months of his current contract which expires in June 2021.
Guardiola has opened the door to extending his stay at Etihad Stadium but his employers believe he must earn the right to remain in the hot seat by overseeing a successful 2020-21 campaign.
It has been widely speculated that Guardiola could be on his way back to Catalonia if he leaves Manchester next summer, with Barca presidential candidate Victor Font eager to arrange a reunion between the 49-year-old and Lionel Messi.
Victor Font speaking with Sky Sports earlier this week said ‘It is our intention to build a very strong and competitive project and we are very lucky at Barca that we inherited a style of play that Johan Cruyff instilled throughout the organization, and most of the best professionals who know about this style are also fans and love the club – like Pep Guardiola, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Carlos] Puyol,’
‘They are all legends that love Barcelona but do not work for Barca today – we need to bring them back to ensure we will have a very competitive project.’
Recall that Guardiola began his coaching career at Camp Nou, winning 14 major trophies between 2008 and 2012, including three La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns.
He created arguably one of the greatest club sides in history during that period, getting the best out of the likes of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and Gerard Pique while implementing his ‘tiki-taka’ philosophy.
However, the City boss insists he has closed the book on his chapter at Barca, and that he will only return to the club as a fan.
‘My period as Barcelona manager is over. I think once in a lifetime you have to do things,’ Guardiola said after watching the Blues beat Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon.
‘There are incredible people who can be in charge there, now for example Ronald Koeman. It’s over, I will come back to my city to see my club, to watch the game, it’s done.’
City’s win over the Blades has seen them move up to seventh in the Premier League, with a Champions League group stage clash against Olympiacos up next for Guardiola’s men on Tuesday.
Barca, meanwhile, will be looking to continue their rebuilding process under new boss Koeman.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK