Guardiola: I will return to coaching next season

The ex-Blaugrana boss has confirmed that he will return to the game next term, but is yet to decide on his destination
By Greg Stobart in Zurich

Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola has revealed his intention to return to coaching next season.

The tactician has been absent from the game since his departure from the club after the 2011-12 campaign, and speaking during the press conference ahead of Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony, he shared that he intends to take over a coaching role again at some point.

Asked whether he would return to coaching next term, Guardiola said: "Yes, I would like to come back [to coaching]. I don’t have a team, I don’t know, but I would like to go back to coaching."

He added: "My decision has been taken to coach, but beyond that there is no decision taken." exclusively revealed in December that Guardiola had informed Arsenal that they were his top choice should he choose to move to the English Premier League.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City have also been linked with a potential approach, while Bayern Munich are also understood to be interested in making the 41-year-old their coach next season.

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But Guardiola, who is taking a year sabbatical in New York, refused to be drawn on whether he had spoken to any clubs, stating: “It would be a lack of respect to other coaches to speak about any team that is being run by a coach anywhere in the world.”

The former midfielder handed over to Tito Vilanova at the end of last season after guiding Barcelona to 14 trophies in four years at the Camp Nou.

He continues to follow the team from afar and - with Barcelona 11 points clear at the top of La Liga - is proud of their progress since his departure.

“I keep watching Barcelona on TV and it’s great to watch the team,” Guardiola continued. “I was a lucky man to spend a few years with this fantastic team and it’s a source of pride to know they continue to play just as well or even better than when I was there.

“It was a gift to have that team and it’s more of a gift to know it’s still going on. It didn’t start with me, it started a long, long time ago and I was just one part of that.”