News of Joan Laporta wanting to bring Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona if he should be elected president of the club in 2021, has one former Manchester City star worried.
Trevor Sinclair believes that the pull of wanting to finish the job at the Camp Nou will see the Catalan moving back home at the end of his current contract.
“Laporta went in there at Barcelona when Pep was youth team manager and he put Pep up in charge of the first-team, and 14 trophies in four years later… what an amazing partnership,” he told White and Sawyer on talkSPORT.
“You don’t have that kind of partnership with a person at a club you love… Pep is Catalan through and through. If you go away, I think your heart will always try and bring you back home and I think, if there is one person that can get Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona, it’s Joan Laporta.
“The time scale, 2021 when Pep’s contract finishes, he will want to finish the job and win the Champions League with Manchester City, but he may not be able to do that depending on what happens with the UEFA ban.
“And on a human level we know Pep has just lost him mum to coronavirus, and I feel that Barcelona is pulling him home and there’s a good chance he could end up back at Barcelona.”
Indeed, not having Champions League football at the Etihad Stadium for the next two seasons, if the ban on City playing in the competition is upheld, could well see a number of first-team stars leave.
Should the coronavirus pandemic and associative financial strife mean that they can’t be replaced with like for like talents, thereby making City not as competitive as Pep might like, it could well be the kicker for the manager to head back to Barcelona, even though it will mean his dream of winning the Champions League for his current employers is up in smoke.
Not known as a quitter either, Guardiola could well stay against all the odds, but should Laporta dangle the carrot of getting the band back together, no one would blame Pep for accepting the offer.