Pep Guardiola rules out Barcelona return, could Man City be on horizon?

Speculation is rife over the future of Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, with the Spanish coach yet to agree a new deal at the Bavarian club.

Pep Guardiola is contracted to Bayern Munich until 2016, but in no rush to decide his future beyond that, or indeed more immediately. "In football, things that look one way today, can look another way tomorrow," he responded recently, when questioned at a press conference about whether he'll stay with the Bavarian giants.

Unwilling to reveal whether he will extend his contract beyond 2016, Guardiola has also suggested that he's in no rush to tie his future to Bayern Munich just yet, explaining, "We'll have plenty of time to talk about it at the end of the season." Perhaps most alarming for fans of the Bundesliga side though, are comments from the man talking in the past-tense, with his observations: "Whatever happens, it has been a spectacular time here. I have been very happy coaching Bayern. I was a dream for me."

Whilst it is believed much depends on the objectives he can achieve at Bayern Munich, with Guardiola keen to match the treble-winning feat of his predecessor, Jupp Heynckes, there's also no shortage of tempting interest elsewhere. Various outlets in the British media, including the Mirror, have suggested that if Manuel Pellegrini fails to win any silverware this season with Manchester City, even though he also has a contract until 2016, they are prepared to ditch the Chilean and make a blockbuster swoop for the Spaniard.

In Germany via the Guardian there are claims that Qatar are preparing a sensational bid to lure Guardiola into managing their national team. Manchester City could of course match any financial offer made to Guardiola, whilst they must also feel that when it comes to club rivals, there's only really one that might stand in their way. Namely, the possibility of him returning to Barcelona.

Given the upcoming presidential elections at the Catalan club, though incumbent leader Josep Maria Bartomeu has indicated Luis Enrique will remain at the helm should he be re-elected, much will depend on the Asturian winning silverware this season. The possibility that Joan Laporta could make a return to the boardroom at the Camp Nou, has also inevitably lead to suggestions of a renewed partnership with Guardiola as manager.

Guardiola would no doubt be welcomed with arms wide open, whoever ends up running the show at Barcelona, however, it appears he doesn't particularly fancy a return to the Camp Nou. Indeed, German media have reported him suggesting to his closest circle of friends: "If it looks like I'm heading back there, give me a smack over the head with a hammer!"

Clearly such sentiments will be music to the ears of Manchester City, if indeed they're preparing to make a move for Guardiola, who has never hidden his admiration of the Premier League and of course, the opportunity that could offer as a new challenge, if he ultimately decides to part ways with Bayern Munich.

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