Pep Guardiola hints at Barcelona exit

By Ghanaian Chronicle
By Ghanaian Chronicle

4/4/2011 7:49:00 PM -

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has indicated that he could leave the club when his contract expires at the end of next season in 2012.

The former Spain international midfielder took over the coaching responsibilities at Camp Nou in the summer of 2008 and has won eight major trophies with the Blaugrana since then, including the Champions League.

However, Guardiola's future at Barcelona has been under speculation since last summer when Sandro Rosell replaced Joan Laporta as the club's president.

Even though the 40-year-old signed a one-year contract extension in February of this year that will take him through until the end of the 2011-12 campaign, reports continue to link him to moves abroad especially to England where he is perceived by some observers as the heir to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Guardiola has now further fueled speculation by telling Rai Sport that he believes his cycle at Barcelona may be reaching its final run.

“I think my time is ending here in Barcelona,' he said. “I'm fine here, but when you're at a club like this you cannot stay for too long.

'Next year will be my fourth consecutive season as coach of Barcelona. Such a club must have a lot of courage to have a coach for so long, because the players get tired of coaches and vice-versa.”

Guardiola is also open to a move to a coaching job in Italy having played for Brescia and Roma between 2001 and 2003.

“I'll come if I still want to coach,' he said. “It takes enthusiasm and more to make such a decision.”

Guardiola won the treble with Barcelona in his first season in charge in 2008-09.

This season too the Blaugrana have the chance to win three trophies, as they are five points clear at the top of the table in the Primera Division, through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and also face Real Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey later this month.