MX23RW : Tuesday, December 11 09:48:29

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
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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