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Ex-Barcelona President Laporta Plans Guardiola Return If Elected 

Ex-Barcelona President Laporta Plans Guardiola Return If Elected 

Joan Laporta says he plans to bring Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona if his bid to return as president of the Catalan club in 2021 is successful.

Laporta, who was Barcelona president from 2003 to 2010 and was at the helm when Guardiola was promoted from the youth team to manager of the senior team in 2008, announced his candidacy to replace Josep Bartomeu, who is stepping down from the role next summer.

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Guardiola’s current contract at Premier League champions Manchester City is due to expire in June 2021.

City’s two-year European ban for breaking UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules – which they have appealed – left some questioning Guardiola’s future as manager.

But Guardiola has remained defiant he is staying in England until at least the end of next season.

Guardiola enjoyed unrivalled success after being appointed by Laporta at Barcelona, winning three league titles in a row and lifting the Champions League trophy in both 2009 and 2011.

“I would be very pleased to have Pep back, but he’s at City now and it’s a decision that would be down to him,” Laporta said. 

“He’s a reference point for everyone associated with Barcelona and I think many fans would be thrilled if he came back to coach the club again.

“I’m working on my candidacy. I’ve been club president before and I’d like to take on that role again.

“The situation at Barça in 2021 will be dramatic and we will have to turn things around.”

Laporta has also mentioned the possibility of bringing in former Barcelona midfielder Xavi, who is currently in charge of Al Sadd in Qatar.

“Xavi is already coaching and he’ll decide when it’s the right time for him to be the Barça coach,” Laporta added. 

“Coaching team-mates that you’ve played with can’t be easy. He’ll know when the time is right.”

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