Laporta frets over Pep future

Image: Guardiola: Instant success at Camp Nou

Barcelona president Joan Laporta admits speculation linking Pep Guardiola with the Premier League is inevitable.

Boss yet to sign new deal as Liverpool and Man Utd keep watch

Barcelona president Joan Laporta admits speculation linking Pep Guardiola with a move to the Premier League is inevitable. The Barcelona manager is in demand after leading the Catalan giants to six trophies in 2009, including an unprecedented treble of the La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League. The Spaniard's contract in charge at Camp Nou expires this summer and the 39-year-old is mulling over an offer to remain at the helm, with Premier League clubs monitoring his situation. Crisis club Liverpool are thought to be interested with Rafa Benitez's future up in the air, while Manchester United are understood to have earmarked Guardiola as a future replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson. Barcelona are well placed to build on last season's success after opening up a five-point gap at the top of La Liga at the weekend, and Laporta insists they will give Guardiola all the time he needs to finally agree new terms. "We cannot avoid the speculation as he is the best coach in the world and many clubs will be interested," said Laporta. "We know that and Manchester United are just one club who I am sure are watching his future. But he has a long way to go with Barcelona. "Because of his characteristics we expect him to continue to write the pages of history of this football club. "We would like to solve this question mark over his future as soon as possible and we are convinced that he will sign but we must respect his decision to wait. "We are convinced that he will sign a new contract and that he will sign soon but we cannot force him into a decision. We must be patient and wait."

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