Xavi: Guardiola likely to extend contract

MADRID - Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola should agree a contract extension that would keep him with the Spanish and European champions beyond this season, midfielder Xavi said on Tuesday.

Guardiola has yet to commit to a new deal and president Joan Laporta said on Monday the La Liga club were resigned to rivals trying to lure away the 39-year-old, who led Barca to an unprecedented six trophies in 2009.

"I can't imagine a Barca without Guardiola," Spain international Xavi, who is one of the club captains, told a news conference.

"He is a fundamental cog in this machine and I think his contract renewal is imminent but it depends on him," he added.

Laporta has said Guardiola should decide by the beginning of April whether he planned to stay on and that he also wanted sporting director Txiki Begiristain to agree a new deal.

"I believe (Guardiola) wants to continue and that he is content here, that he feels important within the club," Xavi said.

"To me he looks like he is enjoying the work with the same enthusiasm as the first day," he added.

"Pep is very intelligent and it's clear that he won't make a mistake as he always has the good of the club and of the players in mind. He is not an egoist."