Barcelona president Joan Laporta made contact with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola over a possible return to Spotify Camp Nou as manager in 2021, according to journalist Toni Juanmarti.
Laporta returned as Barça president in March last year after winning the elections with a big margin. At the time, Ronald Koeman was the manager of the Catalan club and as per the report, the club supremo had major doubts about the Dutchman.
At the time, even though Barcelona had progressed to the finals of the Copa del Rey and were performing fairly well in La Liga, they had been eliminated by PSG in the Champions League and had missed out on the Spanish Super Cup as well.
So, Laporta and the new administration had doubts over Koeman and the re-elected president had Guardiola as his dream candidate to take over the reins. After all it was he who had given the current Man City boss his first big break as the manager of Barcelona in 2008.
To that end, Laporta is understood to have contacted Guardiola in 2021 about a possible return to Barcelona later that year. The Catalan tactician asked for time to mull things over before making a decision.
The report states that Guardiola would have considered the possibility of returning to Spotify Camp Nou on one condition: if he won the UEFA Champions League with Manchester City.
And the Cityzens came close to doing so, as they beat Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals and PSG in the semis to set up a final meeting with Chelsea. But Kai Havertz’s goal denied Guardiola and Manchester City the win as Chelsea were crowned champions.
Following that, Guardiola decided that the time was not right for him to leave the Etihad and Laporta decided to stick with Koeman, only to replace him with Xavi Hernandez in November 2021.
Guardiola recently signed a new contract with Manchester City, committing his future to the club until 2025. That move could end up hampering Barcelona’s transfer plans to sign Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan from the Premier League champions.