Pep Guardiola to leave Barcelona

I'm off! Man City and Chelsea on alert as Guardiola tells Messi and co he's leaving Barca

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UPDATED:

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.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

End of the road Pep Guardiola will announce he is to leave Barcelona at the end of the season

PEP'S TROPHIES

La Liga
2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11

Champions League
2009, 2011

Copa del Rey
2009 (2012 still to play)

Spanish Super Cup
2009, 2010, 2011

UEFA Super Cup
2009, 2011

FIFA Club World Cup
2009, 2011

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.

Yet,
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.

Guardiola has
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

Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night

Misery: Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions league by Chelsea on Tuesday night

Are you watching, Roman Roberto Di Matteo (centre) has led the Blues to the Champions League final

Are you watching, Roman Roberto Di Matteo (above) has led the Blues to the Champions League final

Are you watching, Roman Roberto Di Matteo (centre) has led the Blues to the Champions League final

Main man: Guardiola has won 13 trophies in his four years in charge

Main man: Guardiola has won 13 trophies in his four years in charge