Barcelona presidential candidate would welcome Guardiola return

Pep Guardiola would be welcomed back to Barcelona, according to Joan Laporta.

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Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta says the door is open for Pep Guardiola to return to Camp Nou, but insists that Luis Enrique will remain coach next season.

Guardiola was promoted to become first-team coach of the Catalans in 2008 during Laporta’s first spell as president before he led the club to the treble that season and delivered a further 11 trophies during a four-year spell.

And Laporta remains open to the idea of bringing the current Bayern Munich boss back to Camp Nou one day.

"I’m on friendly terms with Pep and if he were interested in coming back, we’d talk about it," the lawyer said on Cuatro. "However, Luis Enrique will be the coach next season."

The latter led the Blaugrana to their second treble last term with the help of talisman Lionel Messi – who scored 58 goals in 57 appearances in all competitions – after a fallout between the pair in January was resolved.

Messi’s impact led Laporta to talk of the importance of cultivating an environment in which the Argentine feels comfortable.

"I hope Leo keeps running the show to a great extent. He will never call for a coach’s head," he continued. "What we have to do is create a team in which he feels thoroughly at ease. We’re talking about the best player in the history of football."

Laporta is one of the frontrunners to assume office when Barcelona’s presidential election is held on July 18and he hit out at previous presidents Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu, who is also running in the vote, for the club’s troubled state as they face legal action over the deal which brought Neymar to Catalunya from Santos.

"They whipped up a lot of resentment with their vote of censure and got up to all sorts," Laporta said of his successors.

The 53-year-old also ruled out the signing Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, stating: "He’s a Real Madrid icon and is negotiating a new contract.

"I’ve already got payback for them signing Luis Figo by buying Samuel Eto’o. As everyone knows, what goes around comes around."

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