Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Guardiola Deal Shows Pep's Future May Lie Away From Catalonia

Barcelona coach Pep GuardiolaSince Pep Guardiola took up the reins at FC Barcelona, taking over from Frank Rijkaard in 2008, the fortunes of the Catalan club have been silver lined. The 2008-09 season brought with it a first treble in the club's illustrious history as well as spellbinding football played by the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Samuel Eto'o. After just one year of football management, Guardiola was already the blue-eyed boy of the world's game and the possibilities seemed endless for the Spaniard. Many a fan saw Guardiola as the long-term leader of the Blagaurana, a man that could emulate the achievements of Ferguson and Wenger at Manchester United and Arsenal respectively. Since then, despite more success on the playing field, Guardiola remains noncommittal. In July 2010, the ex-Barca midfielder signed a new contract at the club ensuring that he would stay until the end of the 2010-11 season. The length of the contract raised questions about Guardiola's long-term future at the club, with talk rife that he had been earmarked to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Earlier today, Guardiola signed another short-term contract with the club, binding himself to the Camp Nou until the end of the 2011-12 season. This contract is bound to attract yet more speculation about the soon to be vacant managerial job in Manchester, and one can be sure that David Gill and the rest of the hierarchy at United will be taking notice of any further developments between Guardiola and the current Spanish champions.

Is Guardiola an ideal replacement for Ferguson at United?

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