Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola waiting for new club to ‘seduce’ him
Barcelona's Pep Guardiola says he will be ready to return to management for a club that tempts him out of his hiatus
Pep Guardiola has revealed he may make an early return to management if a club can “seduce” him back into the game, giving Chelsea fresh hope of appointing the Barcelona coach as Andre Villas-Boas’ permanent successor at Stamford Bridge.
The 41-year-old announced he would be stepping down as Barça manager at the end of the season and will take charge of his final game in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao on Friday night.
The Spaniard cited tiredness as a factor in his decision to quit the Catalan club after a trophy-laden four-year spell at Camp Nou which saw Barcelona win three successive La Liga titles before losing out to Real Madrid this season, plus two Champions League crowns.
Chelsea, who sacked Villas-Boas in March, are said to be keen on securing Guardiola’s services despite interim boss Roberto Di Matteo leading the Blues to the Champions League glory this month.
“I will receive all calls with pleasure, but for the next months I have to recharge my batteries and my mind,” said Guardiola.
“I will be ready [to return] if one club wants me and seduces me.”
Pep Guardiola fact-file
• Guardiola came up through Barcelona’s youth ranks to win six Spanish Liga titles, one European Champion Clubs’ Cup, a Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup and two Copa del Rey trophies from 1990 to 2001.
• Having coached Barcelona’s B team, became the 15th Catalan-born boss of the senior team in 2008 and won the Uefa Champions League, Spanish Liga and Copa del Rey in his first season in charge.
• Success in the 2008-09 final made Guardiola the sixth man to lift the European Cup as a player and a coach – Barcelona followed up with victories in the Spanish and Uefa Super Cups at the start of 2009/10, going on to win the Fifa Club World Cup and retain the Liga title.
• Barcelona coach Guardiola has won the European Cup as a player and coach at Wembley but his record playing away against English sides was W1 D2 L4.