Barcelona

Laporta wants Barcelona presidency and to bring Guardiola back

Former coach Pep Guardiola would be welcomed back to Barcelona with open arms if Joan Laporta regains power next year.

Laporta wants Guardiola return and Barca presidency

Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta plans to regain his position at the club by entering the Barça presidential elections next year and wants former coach Pep Guardiola to return if he is successful. Laporta spent seven years as Barça president before stepping down in 2010.

A decade after relinquishing power at Camp Nou, the 57-year-old has set his sights on succeeding Josep Maria Bartomeu in 2021.

Laporte behind Guardiola

Laporta promoted an inexperienced Guardiola to the role of first-team coach in 2008 and that proved to be a masterstroke.

If Laporta has his way, the Manchester City boss will return to Catalonia.

He told Catalan station TV3: "I'm working to introduce myself as a presidential candidate.

"I've been president before and I'm excited to be back. The situation in 2021 will be dramatic and we'll have to reverse it. I'm working with people I trust."

He added: "I would very much like Guardiola to come back, but now he is at City and it is a decision that Pep should take. He is a benchmark for Barcelona and many Catalans would like him to train Barça again.

"At the right time, I will speak to the person we think should be a Barça coach from 2021."

Laporta suggested it may be too early for Xavi to take the Barça hotseat, which was only filled by Quique Setién in January.

He said: "Xavi is already a coach, he lives by football and it is he who must decide what his moment is.

"In 2021 there will still be players [at Barça] who were Xavi's team-mates, and he must think if he is prepared to lead former team-mates, which is not an easy thing."

Laporta added of the former Spain midfielder: "He is an honest man, he knows a lot about football and he will make the right decision, he will know what his time is to train Barça. I have not talked about Xavi on these issues."