Ex-Manchester City player Trevor Sinclair has said he is worried that Pep Guardiola could be ‘pulled back to Barcelona’ and leave the Etihad in the near future.
The City boss has only one year left on his contract with the Premier League side and has refused to commit to the club beyond the summer of 2021.
And after a disappointing season which has seen the Citizens fall way behind league leaders Liverpool, it has been suggested that the Spanish manager could be looking to leave England rather than extend his stay.
A potential destination for the 49-year-old could be the Camp Nou, where he started his senior managerial career back in 2008, with reports claiming that he is a wanted man in Catalonia.
Joan Laporta, who was president of Barcelona between 2003 and 2010, is running to be re-elected to the position when Josep Bartomeu steps down next summer, and is said to be keen to bring Guardiola back too should he be successful.
That is a cause for concern for Sinclair, who finds it hard to see ‘Pep’ turning down the opportunity to return to the La Liga outfit if he is offered the managerial hot seat.
In an interview with talkSPORT, cited on Goal, Sinclair said: “Laporta went in there at Barcelona when Pep was youth team manager and he put Pep up in charge of the first-team, and 14 trophies in four years later… what an amazing partnership.
“You don’t have that kind of partnership with a person at a club you love… Pep is Catalan through and through.
“If you go away, I think your heart will always try and bring you back home and I think if there is one person that can get Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona, it’s Joan Laporta.
“The time scale, 2021 when Pep’s contract finishes, he will want to finish the job and win the Champions League with Manchester City, but he may not be able to do that depending on what happens with the UEFA ban.
“And on a human level we know Pep has just lost him mum to coronavirus, and I feel that Barcelona is pulling him home and there’s a good chance he could end up back at Barcelona.”
Guardiola joined City in the summer of 2016, and has since led them to two Premier League titles, including a record-breaking ‘centurions’ season in 2017/18, while he has also picked up an FA Cup and three League Cups.
Despite his success, stories emerged in March that officials at the club are already preparing for his departure at the end of his current deal, meaning a return to Barcelona could very much be on the cards.
READ MORE: Robert Lewandowski has been speaking about Leroy Sane’s potential move to Bayern Munich in the next transfer window.