Football

Joan Laporta keen to bring Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated that they have no regret allowing Lionel Messi to leave Camp Nou.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta wants Pep Guardiola to return to the club, either as a manager, the position he previously held from 2008 to 2012, or sporting director.

La Blaugrana’s start to life in the post-Lionel Messi era has been rough, with Barça taking eight points from their opening four La Liga games.

Ronald Koeman oversaw an unthinkable route one performance in their draw at home to Granada on Monday, and Barcelona look very unlike the Guardiola sides from last decade.

Now, El Nacional report Laporta ‘will do everything in his power’ to bring the current Manchester City boss back to the club, although the local publication admits it is ‘almost impossible’.

Guardiola has previously insisted that his time as Barça’s head coach is a thing of the past, but Laporta is also willing to propose that he could take up a directorial role instead. El Nacional suggested a hypothetical setup with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag as head coach and Guardiola alongside Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff in support upstairs at Camp Nou is feasible.

Guardiola’s current Man City deal expires in 2023, and though he’s created confusion over his future plans already this season – saying he will take a break after he leaves the Etihad Stadium but not putting a timeframe on it – Laporta thinks there’s a chance he could depart before then.

City sit fifth in the Premier League table after five games, already three points behind title rivals Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool. Guardiola recently caused a stir among City fans when he pleaded for more supporters to attend home games, doubling down that his statement was open to interpretation but insisting he would stand down from his role if fans are unhappy with him.

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