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The Dutch legend was instrumental in the appointments of Guardiola and his predecessor Frank Rijkaard, and now claims he has earmarked a new man for the Camp Nou hotseat

Dutch icon Johan Cruyff claims he has identified the ideal successor for Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, when the 40-year-old eventually decides to leave Camp Nou.

Guardiola prefers to sign year-long contracts and although he has yet to commit himself beyond this season, the Barca boss is widely expected to remain in charge for at least one more campaign.

After that, however, the former club captain may decide to broaden his horizons by moving abroad - as he did as a player - or even take a one-year sabbatical to spend some time with his family.

"Guardiola is renewing his contract yearly and that's normal," Cruyff was quoted as saying by Spanish news agency EFE. "But as long as he is happy he will stay at Barca."

When he does leave, however, the Dutchman claims he has earmarked the ideal candidate to succeed the Barca boss, who is already the most successful coach in the history of the Catalan club.

"I'm clear about who should be Guardiola's successor and I have already told the people closest to me," he revealed.

"But it's not Mourinho," he joked.

Cruyff took part in an event on Friday paying homage to former Barcelona and Spain great Jose Maria 'Chus' Pereda, who passed away in late September.

The Dutchman previously worked as an adviser to former Barca president Joan Laporta and was instrumental in the appointments of both Frank Rijkaard and Guardiola - in 2003 and 2008, respectively - as coach.

Laporta made Cruyff president of honour in 2010, but he was later stripped of the title by incoming chief Sandro Rosell and is likely to have little say in the naming of a new coach when Guardiola does leave the club.

Starting last week and continuing every Friday through to January, Goal.com will publish extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated book, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World. This Friday, tune in for a new enthralling extract on how Joan Laporta and Sandro Rosell used David Beckham as a vote-winner in the club elections of 2003, even though a deal was already done between Manchester United and Real Madrid. Don't miss it!

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