October 1, 2018 / 4:54 PM / in 21 days

Guardiola welcome back at Barca with open arms, says president

LONDON (Reuters) - Pep Guardiola would be welcomed back to Barcelona with open arms after club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the door is always open for the La Liga side’s former player and coach to return to the Nou Camp.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Manchester City Training - The City Football Academy, Manchester, Britain - October 1, 2018 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and assistant coach Rodolfo Borrell during training Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

The Manchester City manager played for Barca for 11 years before becoming coach in 2008, leading the club to 14 trophies including two Champions League titles.

He left in 2012 and went on to coach Bayern Munich before joining City but last month said in an interview with the Universo Valdano TV programme that he would like to finish his career coaching at Barca’s famous La Masia youth academy.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Manchester City Training - The City Football Academy, Manchester, Britain - October 1, 2018 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura during training Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

“I read a few days ago that he’s planning in the future to come back to Barcelona and maybe take care of La Masia,” Bartomeu said in an interview with The Times of London.

“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?”

Guardiola won the Premier League with Manchester City last season, with a record total of 100 points.

Reporting by Christian Radnedge and Rik Sharma, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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