Guardiola agent denies exit rumours

Jose Maria Orobitg – agent of Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola – has rubbished reports claiming his client is on his way out of the Catalan giants.

Inter Milan, Chelsea and Manchester United top the list of potential suitors for the Spanish manager, who finds himself out of contract in June.

Speculation has surfaced tipping Guardiola to take over at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or the San Siro in the past week following his side’s magnanimous 5-0 victory over title rivals Real Madrid on Monday.

However, Orobitg has been quick to quash talk of Guardiola moving away from Camp Nou.

He informed "At this moment there is nothing with another club. I have not had any direct contact with Inter, only questions by other agents, but we are not currently contemplating a departure.

"Guardiola's contract is expiring in June, it is too early to begin negotiations for the renewal, but Pep has always preferred to renew from year to year.

"Then in football you never know. Chelsea and Manchester United? No, I have not had any contact with them.

"I think that next season Pep will still be on Barcelona's bench. He's very well here, is very Catalan and is a special coach."

Amid all the rumours concerning Guardiola’s future at the club, the Catalan media have also publicised Andoni Zubizarreta’s desire as Barcelona’s director of football to begin contract negotiations with Guardiola in mid-December, after asking Orobtig for a meeting.

The offer to be put in place is believed to be a five-year contract, despite belief that Guardiola will hold out for a maximum of three seasons at the club before moving onto a new challenge.

Zubizarreta hopes negotiations can come to a close in January.

Only Sir Alex Ferguson himself knows when he will finally bid farewell to the Red Devils, but it is expected to be in the next two years with the Scot targeting at least one more Premier League title for United in order to overhaul Liverpool's tally of 18 domestic crowns.

Ferguson also wants one more Champions League medal around his neck, with the 68-year-old of the view that United should have won far more than the two European Cups that the Red Devils have managed during his tenure.

By Elliott Binks