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Guardiola rules out Barcelona return and insists Koeman 'deserves' another year at Camp Nou

17:56 GMT+4 07/06/2021
Ronald Koeman Pep Guardiola 2021
The Spaniard has reiterated his desire to continue at Etihad Stadium while talking up the credentials of the current Blaugrana boss

Pep Guardiola has ruled out returning to Barcelona as their head coach, with the Manchester City boss adamant that Ronald Koeman "deserves" another year at Camp Nou.

Guardiola forged one of the greatest sides in club football history at Barca between 2008 and 2012, winning 14 trophies including three Liga titles and two Champions League crowns.

The Spaniard has since enjoyed success at Bayern Munich and Manchester City, who he led to their fifth Premier League title in 2020-21, but he continues to be linked with a homecoming in Catalunya.

What's been said?

Guardiola stated before City's Champions League final defeat to Chelsea last month that he will remain in charge at Etihad Stadium until his contract expires in 2023, and reiterated his stance when quizzed on the Barca rumours this week.

"I have a two-year contract at Manchester, I'm happy and so it will continue to be," he told Cadena SER .

Guardiola on Koeman

Guardiola went onto give his backing to current Blaugrana manager Koeman, who was finally given a vote of confidence by club president Joan Laporta last week after months of speculation over his future.

The Dutchman will carry on in the Camp Nou dugout next season and has the option of an extra year if he meets targets, which Guardiola thinks is a fair reward for a debut campaign that saw him deliver Copa del Rey success.

"Koeman is the ideal coach for next season, I am very happy and the president is convinced," Guardiola added. "It has been a difficult year for everyone and Ronald deserves one more year, with people in the stadium. Besides, second years are always better.

"At times the team has played very well, they are among those who played better football in Spain."

Barca's raid on Man City

Barca have already begun to strengthen their ranks for 2021-22 by agreeing deals for City duo Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero, who will move to Camp Nou on free transfers when their contracts in Manchester expire at the end of the month.

Guardiola is sure that both men will do well in the Spanish top-flight, and has predicted that 20-year-old defender Garcia can go onto skipper the club as he matures in the coming years.

"Aguero and Eric Garcia are two great signings," he said. "Kun is a scorer, with Eric I will tell Koeman that he has a spectacular fit, he is a good guy, really intelligent. He will be one of the captains of the next decade."

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