Pep Guardiola rules out Barcelona return from Manchester City


Pep Guardiola says he will never return to Barcelona as Luis Enrique’s time in charge comes into sharp focus.

Guardiola won all there was to win during his spell at Barca, and the current incumbent appears set to replicate that success.

But with the club trailing La Liga leaders Real Madrid, albeit by just one point, and following on from the humiliation of a 4-0 thrashing by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week, some media are suggesting Enrique’s time is coming to an end.

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Enrique has already won two La Liga titles and the Champions League with Barca, but with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, speculation is rife as to who will replace him.

Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli is reportedly the front runner, with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Athletic Bilbao’s Ernesto Valverde also in contention.

Manchester City boss Guardiola said Barca can overcome their 4-0 deficit, before ruling out a return to the club where he won 14 trophies.

“There’s a lot of competition, the opposition are so strong. You can win heavily or you can lose heavily, that can happen, it’s happened to me, but there are 90 minutes to go and anything can happen. If there’s a team who can do it, then it’s Barca, with their mentality.”

Guardiola added: “I will never go back to Barcelona to be coach there. My period there is gone.

“Barcelona are still the best team in the world. It’s always a surprise because they are so, so good, but in football anything can happen.

“When you have dominated world football, it’s normal that the people expect you to keep up that level, but my advice to you, knowing Luis and the players a little, is not to talk too much, because they will be back and prove you wrong.

“They’ve done it over the years, dominating football for 10 years, and they continue to be the best team in the world.”


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