“We have received six offers from clubs interested in Guardiola,” Jose Maria Orobitg, the FC Barcelona coach’s agent was quoted to have said, according to Catalan sports paper Sport, without elaborating further.
With the Catalan coach’s contract renewal still in limbo, a host of top European clubs are reported to be following the matter with an eagle eye, and one of those is English Premiership side Manchester United.
In an article published by British based tabloid ‘News of the World’ yesterday, the paper claimed Orobitg acknowledged ‘an interest’ from England without mentioning any name: “A club has been in touch with me but there has been no conversation about money or sport project. All of these things are issues which only Pep can talk about.”
Considering that Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson had already announced his intention to retire next year – according to ‘News of the World’ again – the paper maintained the 70-year-old Scotsman has requested the Old Trafford club to consider Guardiola as his successor.
Apart from Manchester United, another English Premier League club interested in securing his services is its city rival, Manchester City. News reports coming from Great Britain had made the assertion that club chairman Sheikh Khaldoon Al Mubarak is preparing a ten million Euros-per-season salary offer.
Other than the two British based rumours, a few weeks ago, Italian newspaper ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’ carried a story that stated the interest of a top Serie A club – again without mentioning any name – and said an offer was made for the time that Guardiola decides to leave Barcelona in the future, and not as a means to pry him from the Primera Liga club now.
In another Sport article, FC Barcelona club president Joan Laporta, has retracted his statement that gave Guardiola an Easter deadline to renew his contract: “Guardiola has requested that we give him time to reflect on what he wants. We need to be calm about this issue knowing full well he will always want what is best for himself and for the club.”
Pep Guardiola had conveyed his displeasure at being put under pressure by the president in statements he made to the press after the deadline was announced, prompting club technical secretary Txiki Begiristain calling for calm from all sides.