The squad was given two days off after what was a turbulent week for the club with two losses, a draw, elimination from the UEFA Champions League and the likelihood of winning La Liga almost impossible. While the players were given time to recover physically and mentally from the matches, Pep Guardiola was reported to have met club president Sandro Rosell to discuss his future with FC Barcelona. In a meeting that supposedly lasted for three hours, the news to emerge isn’t going to uplift the already sullen spirits of cules.
The Spanish media has been reporting that Guardiola has decided to leave Barça after the end of the season, after the culmination of the Copa del Rey.
Reports suggest that Rosell did his utmost to convince Guardiola to extend his stay but his plea appears to have not worked as the former Barça player has decided it is time to move on.
Guardiola’s name has already been linked to Chelsea, as suggested by both El Mundo Deportivo and Sport early on. But another name to emerge as Guardiola’s future employers is that of the English federation, who would like the Catalan to become England coach or advisor of the federation. It is also likely that Guardiola may take a year off from coaching duties.
Guardiola may officially announce his decision to leave or stay to the players tomorrow itself, when the squad returns to training. He will have a press conference ahead of Barça’s trip to Rayo Vallecano and it is obvious that the only question hovering on the minds of journalists will be of Guardiola’s future with the club.
With Guardiola’s exit, the press has already started throwing names of candidates who could step in to fill the void left behind by the club’s most successful manager. The possible successors include Marcelo Bielsa (Athletic Bilbao coach), Laurent Blanc (coach of the French national team), Ernesto Valverde (coach of Olympiakos Pireaus who recently announced that he’d be leaving the Greek champions at the end of the season), Joachim Löw (manager of the German national football team), Andre Villas-Boas (former manager of Chelsea) and Luis Enrique (manager of AS Roma).
Source: The Guardian, El Mundo Deportivo; Photo credit: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez