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Barcelona president sends message to Pep Guardiola as Man City 'prepare to lose him'

Last updated 9 months ago | By Mirror

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu [Courtesy]

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu has launched a Pep Guardiola charm offensive amid reports Manchester City are preparing for life after their boss.

Guardiola is in his fourth year at Man City and has never managed the same club for a fifth season.

The Spaniard is contracted until 2021 and has previously suggested he would be open to extending his contract, but the City board are reportedly preparing for the worst, and Bartomeu has spoken out about the former Barcelona boss amid the uncertainty.

He told La Repubblica: "It doesn't depend on me. It was Pep who decided to leave, but the door will always be open for him at Barca."

Guardiola has won two Premier League titles at Manchester City, but is yet to taste Champions League success with the Etihad club.

It is thought that should the Citizens fail again in Europe that the 48-year-old will move on.

According to The Athletic, the City hierarchy are aware of this and in the process of sounding out possible future replacements to be hired to work an initial backroom role.

The successful candidate will work closely with the medical and fitness departments for the time being - so as to not tread on Guardiola's toes - before quickly climbing the ladder should the Spaniard leave.

Contingency plans are not uncommon in football as it is the board's responsibility to plan for a worst-case scenario to ensure smooth transition.

What's more, Guardiola suggested he isn't ready to leave just yet when talking to the press last month.

He said: "I'm so comfortable working with this club.

"When you are [somewhere for] five years it depends on the results. We will see what happens this season and next season."

On whether he'll stay on, he added: "I'm open [to it], yes. It is not about what the club wants or not. For me, I want to see my players and the reaction of my players and everything.

"It is not as simple as I want to extend. I want to see the club, I want to see the players, I want to see how we are still working together.

"That is the most important thing after five years together. You have to feel like we can do it together and enjoy to work together."

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