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To bring him back home would be great' - Bartomeu backs Pep Barca return

21:01 BST 05/04/2019
Barcelona chairman Josep Maria Bartomeu
Catalan team's president addresses return of Manchester City manager and club legend for academy role in the future

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has said that Pep Guardiola would always be welcome back at Camp Nou.

The Blaugrana supremo was responding to comments the Manchester City manager made last year regarding a potential return to the club where he remains an icon.

Current Barca coach Ernesto Valverde signed a contract extension earlier this month but Bartomeu says the potential is there for Pep to return in some capacity in the future.

“He took the decision to leave and of course, when Barca are looking for a new coach I am sure he will be one of the next board’s candidates,” Bartomeu told ESPN.

“I think Pep said recently that he didn’t see himself as the first team coach again, but maybe with the academy.

“He’s very clear on the club’s philosophy and style of play and to be able to bring him back home would be great for the club and for the players.”

Last year Guardiola told television program Universo Valdano that he would like to round out his coaching career where it began – at Barcelona’s famed La Masia.

Guardiola spent 11 years at Barcelona as a first-team player after coming through the ranks of the club's academy.

He finished out his playing career with short stints in Italy, Qatar and Mexico before returning to lead Barcelona B and then the first team, where he won 14 trophies in four seasons before heading to Bayern Munich.

Bartomeu has addressed the return of the Catalan icon before.

“I read that he’s planning in the future to come back to Barcelona and maybe take care of La Masia,” the executive said last year.

“I think it’s good news for our club that he could do that one day.

“He knows the door is always open for him. Even when he told us he wanted to leave in 2012, we suggested to him he could take care of La Masia.

“He preferred (a clean break). Nobody told him to leave Barcelona. He could come back in future. He knows this. Why not?”