• ‘Barcelona are pulling Guardiola back home’ – Sinclair

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

    Pep Guardiola is being pulled “home” by Barcelona and there is a “good chance” the coach will leave Manchester City in the near future, claims former winger Trevor Sinclair.

    Questions have been asked of the 49-year-old’s presence in England for some time.

    As things stand, Guardiola is only tied to terms with City through to the summer of 2021.

    He has stopped short of penning an extension to that contract or being drawn into a discussion regarding how long he intends to stick around with the reigning Premier League champions.

    That is leaving an exit door ajar, with those in Barcelona admitting that they would welcome the opportunity to bring a familiar face back into their dugout.

    Sinclair fears it is only a matter of time before Guardiola returns to his roots, telling talkSPORT: “[Joan] Laporta went in there at Barcelona when Pep was youth team manager and he put Pep up in charge of the first-team, and 14 trophies in four years later… what an amazing partnership.

    “You don’t have that kind of partnership with a person at a club you love… Pep is Catalan through and through.

    “If you go away, I think your heart will always try and bring you back home and I think if there is one person that can get Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona, it’s Joan Laporta.

    “The time scale, 2021 when Pep’s contract finishes, he will want to finish the job and win the Champions League with Manchester City, but he may not be able to do that depending on what happens with the UEFA ban.

    “And on a human level we know Pep has just lost him mum to coronavirus, and I feel that Barcelona is pulling him home and there’s a good chance he could end up back at Barcelona.”

    While Sinclair believes Guardiola is destined to head back to Camp Nou, famous City fan Noel Gallagher is not convinced that the proven winner is looking for a way out of his current surroundings.

    The Oasis star said when quizzed on the exit talk: “I can’t see it.

    “Pep runs Man City, he runs it. When you go to Barcelona you don’t run it, you know what I mean?

    “He left for a reason, I think there are a lot of politics at the club.

    “But at City, he runs it, make no mistake about this, he runs it from top to bottom.

    “I think he’s in the most enviable position. Apart from him and Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, I’d say every manager wants to be in that position where they are the top man at the club.

    “What Pep says goes at that club and that’s the end of it. So for him to throw that away and go back to Barcelona, where all the politics and the history… and going back, can it ever be as good?

    “I can’t see it.”

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