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Pep Guardiola rules out Barcelona return definitively, opines on Xavi Hernandez exit and Hansi Flick arrival

Pep Guardiola rules out Barcelona return definitively, opines on Xavi Hernandez exit and Hansi Flick arrival
Pep Guardiola rules out Barcelona return definitively, opines on Xavi Hernandez exit and Hansi Flick arrival

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has ruled out returning to his beloved Barcelona once again, saying that the ‘door is closed’ on any possibility of it. Speaking at the Legend Trophy golf tournament in Alt Emporda, Catalonia, he also said he was blameless for Xavi’s exit.

Guardiola in the past has ruled out managing the Blaugrana again, but within the last year has said that ‘if Barcelona call, I will go’. Asked about it again, he was very clear saying, “Yes, the door is closed. We’re getting old now.”

He was also asked if departed Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez suffered from comparisons with him, due to the style of play he was able to implement while he was there.

“I assure you that it is not my fault. Whatever may have happened is not my fault, I have been away from Barcelona for 14, 15 years, or I don’t know, 10, 11 years, and I am not suspected of anything in this regard,” he told Marca.

It has not been lost on anyone that Xavi felt frustrated by some of the criticism from journalists that he considered, rightly or wrongly, to be loyal to Guardiola, even citing Ramon Besa at one point for an article he wrote months before. Guardiola also wished his replacement Hansi Flick well in his new role.

“I wish him the best. May they help him and give him time. He will have to adapt to the style of the players he has.”

Guardiola’s current Manchester City deal is up in 2025, and there have been rumours that he could call it a day in the Premier League at that point. Various national teams, such as Brazil, England and the USA have been mentioned as potential destinations for him, but regardless, it won’t be Barcelona by the looks of things, whatever he chooses.