Wednesday 25 November, 2020

Barca presidential candidate wants Guardiola back and Messi to stay

Lionel Messi (left) and Pep Guardiola in 2012.

Lionel Messi (left) and Pep Guardiola in 2012.

Barcelona presidential candidate Victor Font wants to lure Pep Guardiola back from Manchester City and vowed to keep Lionel Messi at the club.

Josep Maria Bartomeu quit as president at Camp Nou on Tuesday, ahead of a vote of no confidence against his leadership, along with the entire board of directors.

Following Bartomeu's decision to quit it has been reported Barcelona's presidential elections will be held in the second week of January, with Font tipped to be one of the frontrunners.

Font, 48, claimed that if he wins the vote he will seek to bring Guardiola back as head coach, get other big-name ex-players involved, and ensure Argentina international Messi stays.

Guardiola enjoyed a trophy-laden spell in charge of Barcelona between 2008 and 2012, winning LaLiga three times and the Champions League trophy twice.

Messi, meanwhile, had expressed a desire to leave Barca in August only to reverse his decision to avoid a legal dispute, but his contract is set to expire at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Font told Sky Sports: "It is our intention to build a very strong and competitive project and we are very lucky at Barca that we inherited a style of play that Johan Cruyff instilled throughout the organisation.

"And most of the best professionals who know about this style are also fans and love the club - like Pep Guardiola, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Carles] Puyol.

"They are all legends that love Barcelona but do not work for Barca today - we need to bring them back to ensure we will have a very competitive project.

"The only thing Messi needs is to know he is part of a competitive project that aspires to win the next Champions League.

"We have no doubt that if we basically have the honour to take the helm of Barcelona, we will be able to achieve that."

Barcelona are currently 12th in LaLiga after a slow start to the season under new boss Ronald Koeman, who was only appointed as Quique Setien's successor in August.

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