I'm off! Man City and Chelsea on alert as Guardiola tells Messi and co he's leaving Barca
09:01 GMT, 27 April 2012
Pep Guardiola has ended almost 30 years association with Barcelona by telling his players that this season will be his last.
The Spaniard, who has overseen the team's rise into one of the greatest club sides of all time, will end his four-year managerial stint having seen them slip below Real Madrid domestically, and also lose their hold on the Champions League.
Guardiola will become one of world football's most sought after coaches – with Chelsea leading the way – but is understood to be considering taking a year out of the game.
Following Barcelona’s stunning defeat by Chelsea on Tuesday and the impending coronation of Real as champions of Spain, 41-year-old Guardiola informed the club of his decision, which is thought to be that he feels both he and the players would benefit from a change.
A press conference will be held later this morning.
End of the road Pep Guardiola will announce he is to leave Barcelona at the end of the season
2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11
Copa del Rey
2009 (2012 still to play)
Spanish Super Cup
2009, 2010, 2011
UEFA Super Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
Guardiola, who is not under
consideration for any role with England, spent three hours at the home
of Barcelona president Sandro Rosell on Thursday and was told he would
have funds to strengthen his side this summer.
rather than agree to another year at the Nou Camp, Guardiola informed
Rosell of his reservations and spent the rest of the day with his
family. He passed his decision to the president but Rosell asked him to
sleep on it.
had concerns this season that his relationship with some players has
changed and certain standards are not being upheld. He believes his
departure would prompt a fresh approach, benefiting the club and squad.
Guardiola, who was born and raised in Santpedor, a town in central Catalonia, first joined Barcelona in 1983, where he trained until his breakthrough in 1990.
He remained until 2001 and returned to manager Barca B in 2007 before making a step into the top job four years ago.
Since taking over from Frank Rijkaard, Guardiola has led Barca to three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues, three Spanish Super cups, one Copa del Rey – with a final to come next month – two World Club Cups and two UEFA Super Cups, a total of 13.
More to follow….
Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night
Are you watching, Roman Roberto Di Matteo (above) has led the Blues to the Champions League final
Main man: Guardiola has won 13 trophies in his four years in charge