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There have been suggestions that the pair no longer see eye to eye but the Blaugrana boss insists that he gets on as easily with the Argentine as he ever has

Outgoing Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has dismissed rumours that his relationship with Lionel Messi has deteriorated over the past season.

There have been reports that the pair no longer see eye to eye, with the Argentine's failure to turn up for the press conference at which Guardiola announced his departure put forward as evidence of the alleged falling-out.

However, Messi claimed that he was too upset by the news to attend and Guardiola has now declared that the pair continue to enjoy a fine working relationship.

"I get along with Leo as naturally as I have from our very first day together," the former Blaugrana midfielder told reporters on Friday.

"All of these players just want to win and do good work, and I have been privileged to have been their coach."

Guardiola was then quizzed on whether he intends to return to Camp Nou in the future and the 41-year-old revealed that he already feels as if a huge weight has been lifted off his shoulders following his revelation that he will be taking a break in the summer.

"Will I come back? I haven't even left yet and there are still three more games," he exclaimed. "But you never know. I started here as ball boy. However, since the announcement that I will leave, I feel free."

In spite of this, Guardiola is continually being linked with a swift return to coaching. Chelsea have been put forward as one possible option, while others have suggested a move into the international arena might suit him best.

"Chelsea? In the short term, I'm not thinking about being a coach," he explained. "And in general, it's better national teams have coach from their own country."

Guardiola has won 13 titles with Barca since taking over from Frank Rijkaard in 2008 and has the chance to add another trophy to his collection when the Blaugrana lock horns with Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on May 25.

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