FC Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has admitted that he held talks with the Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola over a return, but insists Luis Enrique will remain coach if he wins.
Pep Guardiola was a shock appointment in 2008-09 season as the new FC Barcelona manager following the departure of Frank Rijkaard with no experience of managing in top flight.
He went onto oversee an incredible season in which FC Barcelona won the treble for the first time in their history and also went onto become the first team to win every single trophy they competed for.
The visionary who saw this in the unproven manager was Joan Laporta, the same man who is credited with the complete modern transformation of the Blaugrana from a side in the bottom half of the table in mid 2003-04 season to what the club is today.
“I’ve spoken to Pep about returning”
With FC Barcelona election due on 18th of July, Laporta is one of the favorites for the president’s position and he has said that he has been in touch with Guardiola about a possible return.
“I’ve spoken to Pep Guardiola about him returning,” he told Radio Marca. “He’s under contract with Bayern, but he’s a free spirit who will always be linked to the club.
“He could be a great president in the future.”
“Enrique will stay”
However, Laporta insists that Luis Enrique need not worry about his job, should he become the new Barca chief: “If I’m president, Luis Enrique stay. He’s improved Barca’s style of play and added a certain degree of versatility to it.”
“It would be reckless to have Bartomeu as president”
Laporta and Bartomeu are the front runners heading into Saturday’s election and Laporta stressed that re-electing his rival would be a bad idea for FC Barcelonba with Bartomeu, who replaced Sandro Rosell at the helm in January 2014, played a role in the Neymar transfer which has led to a legal case being opened up against the club and it’s good name being dragged through the mud.
“We’ve turned the polls on their heads. We’re ahead, with 36 per cent of voter intention,” he added.
“It would be reckless to have Bartomeu as president after conducting a poll to sell Lionel Messi, and when Barca have been prosecuted for the first time in history over the Neymar case,” he told Radio Marca.
“Bartomeu and Rosell are two sides of the same coin. They stand there talking about what it means to be a club when they’re there to protect the interests of the sponsors Qatar, which is a ridiculous link that does not make sense financially with being the first time that Barca have had a sponsor on their shirt.”
Well, the heat is certainly on as the election draws closer and FC Barcelona fans would certainly not mind Laporta coming back given what incredible heights the club scaled during his tenure.