Joan Laporta has said he will attempt to bring Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona if his push to return as president of the club in 2021 is successful.
Laporta was Barcelona’s president from 2003 to 2010 and was at the helm when Guardiola was promoted to manager of the senior team in 2008.
Guardiola is under contract at Manchester City until June 2021 and Barcelona’s elections are due that summer. Guardiola has said he will not walk out before then despite Uefa handing City a two-year ban from European competition for breaching financial fair play rules, a ruling the club have appealed against.
“I’m working to introduce myself as a presidential candidate,” Laporta was quoted as saying on the Catalan station TV3. “I’ve been president before and I’m excited to be back.
“I would very much like Guardiola to come back, but now he is at City and it is a decision that Pep should take. He is a benchmark for Barcelona and many Catalans would like him to coach Barça again.
“At the right time, I will speak to the person we think should be a Barça coach from 2021.”
Barcelona won 14 trophies – including three league titles and the Champions League twice – during Guardiola’s reign before his exit in 2012.
Barcelona have been in turmoil since six directors resigned in April in protest at the way the club was being run.