Man City stance on Guardiola future amid expiring contract and Barcelona link

Manchester City remain relaxed over the future of Pep Guardiola.

The Spaniard, 49, is out of contract at the Etihad next summer and Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font has gone public with his desire to take the Catalan back to Camp Nou.

Guardiola, now into his fifth season at City, has just eight months remaining on his deal, after a trophy-laden spell at the club.

But as yet, firm discussions over an extension are yet to take place.

Speaking in September he stated it would be the club’s decision, saying: “I would love to stay longer here. It is a place I love to be but I have to deserve.

“This club achieved standards in the last decade but we have to maintain that and I have to deserve it.

“I am going to see if I deserve it this season in terms of how the club goes forward and improves.”

However, the ball is very much in Guardiola’s court.

If he wants to remain and sign an extension, then City chiefs will be delighted for him to continue.

And they will continue to wait for his definitive answer.

But having last week claimed his contract situation would not impact on performances, Guardiola now finds himself in the upper-most thoughts of Font – favourite to replace the ousted Josep Maria Bartomeu in power at his boyhood club.

Font believes that enticing Guardiola back to Catalunya is the ideal starting point as he bids to rebuild a club that has been allowed to stagnate on Bartomeu’s watch – while also ensuring Lionel Messi remains at the club too.

"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 organisation,” Font told Sky Sports News.

"And most of the best professionals who know about this style are also fans and love the club – like Pep Guardiola, Xavi, Iniesta, 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.”

Guardiola has a history of biding his time when it comes to deciding on his future.

At Barcelona he waited until just a month before his contract was due to expire before announcing his decision to take a sabbatical.

At Bayern, he left his decision to reject the German club's offer of a new contract until the Bundesliga's winter break in December 2015.

Additionally, Guardiola’s wife, Cristina, has been working back in Barcelona for much of the last year, and a return to the family home after five years in Manchester – his longest individual stint at a club – may appeal; whether he is keen to return to Camp Nou or not.

Armed with that knowledge City bosses, as Sunday Mirror Sport revealed earlier this month, are monitoring Mauricio Pochettino’s situation and could offer him a route back into Premier League management next summer, should Guardiola elect to depart.

Pochettino, 48, has been out of football for almost a year since leaving Tottenham in November 2019.

Julian Nagelsmann, the RB Leipzig coach who has intimated his interest in working in the Premier League in future, has also been mooted as a potential replacement.

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip

Source: Read Full Article