Guardiola: Time at Barcelona coming to an end

ROME - Pep Guardiola has hinted he could leave Barcelona at the end of next season because "players tire of coaches and vice versa".

The 40-year-old former Barca midfielder has had huge success in the Nou Camp hotseat, winning La Liga for the past two seasons and the Champions League in 2009, but has always been coy about his future by only signing one-year contract extensions.

"I think my time here at Barcelona is coming to an end," said Guardiola in an interview with Italian television station Rai. "I'm happy here but when you are at a club like this for a long time it's not possible to stay long-term.

"Next year will be my fourth consecutive as Barca coach. A club like this must have a lot of courage to keep a coach for all this time because players tire of coaches and vice versa."

The timing of the interview was curious given it is April Fool's Day but Rai said the interview was genuine.

Guardiola, who succeeded Dutchman Frank Rijkaard in 2008, agreed in February to extend his deal until June 2012 having won eight of 10 trophies contested in just over two-and-a-half years in charge.

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has long expressed his admiration for Guardiola while media reports have often linked him with taking over at Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson retires.

Barcelona were not available for immediate comment.


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