Faded La Liga hopes and a Champions League exit have led Pep Guardiola to call time on his reign in Spain, announcing that he will leave the Nou Camp at the end of this season.
Guardiola is said to be burnt out with the rigours of day-to-day management, and reportedly wants a year break to recoup before returning to the game, which could deter punters from backing him to become England’s next manager at 6/1.
Still only 41 years old, Guardiola led Barcelona to two Champions League titles and three La Liga successes in his four year Nou Camp tenure, and addressed his squad this morning prior to declaring his intentions to the public.
He met with Barca president Sandro Rosell yesterday morning, where the coach is thought to have insinuated that he could not “go on” in his duties as the Catalans’ manager.
The details of Guardiola’s deal at the Nou Camp were somewhat exclusive, with the Spaniard renewing a one-year rolling contract season by season.
However, what began as contract negotiations this year soon descended into a struggle to persuade Guardiola to sign, with Rosell willing to offer him unlimited spending power to stay in charge.
The Catalan manager and former Barca player though, had often indicated that his decisions would not be financially motivated, and that he would always strive to do what is best for the club.
Rosell remained fiercely loyal to him and his methods in the aftermath of disappointing recent results, saying that Guardiola was ‘essential’ to Barcelona’s style of play.
The nature of defeats to Real Madrid and Chelsea seem to have prompted Guardiola himself to question his current credentials however, and the Catalan boss now looks set for a break from football after leaving his beloved Barcelona this summer.