Pep says he's 'not essential' for Barca success after extending Man City stay

Pep says he's 'not essential' for Barca success after extending Man City stay

Pep Guardiola has claimed he would consider a return to Barcelona if he thought he was essential, but the Manchester City boss has insisted he feels at home with the reigning Premier League champions.

Guardiola last week committed his future to Manchester City by agreeing a two-year contract extension, with the new deal running until 2025.

The 51-year-old previously enjoyed success with Barcelona as a player, before his trophy laden four-year spell in charge of the Catalan giants as manager, which ended in 2012.

His former player, Xavi, is currently in charge and has led Barcelona to the top of LaLiga in the first half of this season.

Guardiola was presented with the Best Manager trophy for the fifth time at the Catalan Football Federation's annual gala, where he was asked about his former side.

'It's a bad way to see it that I have to go back, because Pep left and Barca kept winning,' Guardiola said, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.

'You shouldn't think like that.

'If I thought I was essential, I would return, but that's not the case.

'There are stages, there are processes, and if one day I have to meet again, we will meet again naturally.'

During his four seasons in charge of Barcelona, the club won an astonishing 14 trophies. This included winning three LaLiga championships and two Champions League titles.

Barca have failed to advance from the group stage in their last two Champions League campaigns, with the club facing well-publicised financial issues.

Guardiola highlighted that Luis Enrique and Xavi have succeeded in bringing titles to the club since his departure a decade ago, while insisting he is comfortable continuing his work at Manchester City.

'I feel very good there, very comfortable, they give me everything and I have very good friends close by,' Guardiola said.

'To continue you have to have very good players and when you have continuity in a club it's because those above give you a lot of support.

'The city is not Barcelona, I'm not at home.

'Nothing is comparable to Barca, because here everything is on the surface, if I am here it is because Barca gave me everything and I will never be grateful enough.

'At City I feel at home.'

Prior to extending his contract last week, Guardiola had just seven months left to run on his deal, leading to concern among City fans that the decorated coach would walk away from the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season.

The four-time Premier League winner, who joined City in 2016, would have been in charge for nine years if he sees out his new contract.

Guardiola has won all there is to win during his tenure in charge of the club, barring the elusive Champions League trophy.

The Spaniard took City to the 2021 final in Portugal, only to lose to Chelsea.
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