MX23RW : Wednesday, February 20 22:39:08

Josep Maria Bartomeu: 'Door is always open for Pep Guardiola at Barcelona'

Bartomeu opens door for Guardiola return
© Reuters
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists that "the door is always open" for Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to return to Camp Nou in the future.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that the "door is always open" for manager Pep Guardiola to return to the club.

Guardiola spent four years in charge of Barcelona between 2008 and 2012, leading the club to 14 trophies including two Champions Leagues and playing football regarded by some as the best ever seen at club level.

The Spaniard has since moved on to Bayern Munich and Manchester City, where he has continued his trophy-laden success, but he has hinted that he wants to finish his career at Barcelona's famed La Masia academy - an idea Bartomeu is happy to fulfil.

"I read a few days ago that he's planning in the future to come back to Barcelona and maybe take care of La Masia. I think it's good news for our club that he could do that one day," Bartomeu told The Times.

"He knows the door is always open for him. Even when he told us he wanted to leave in 2012, we suggested to him he could take care of La Masia. He preferred [a clean break]. Nobody told him to leave Barcelona. He could come back in future. He knows this. Why not?

"He said he was leaving because he was exhausted and needed a rest. That is something that can happen to any of us, particularly when you work hard under so much pressure and you take such responsibility for your work. We spoke with him several times. We made different suggestions but he insisted, 'No, this is my last season.'

"We played Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final and we thought it was our time to reach another final. We didn't have the luck and Chelsea went through. We said after that, 'OK, now we should announce this officially.' He works so very hard, but he's a genius also."

Guardiola also spent the vast majority of his playing career with Barcelona, joining as a youth player in 1984 and eventually leaving in 2001.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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