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Pep Guardiola’s biographer has all but ruled out a return for the Manchester City manager to coaching in Spain after his time at the Etihad wraps up in a new interview.
Marti Perarnau has been covering the manager for over ten years, and produced three books on his stints at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and in Manchester, where the head coach is halfway through his seventh season at the Treble-winners.
After nearly eight years at Man City – and a near-unprecedented run of success in the Premier League and cup competitions – Guardiola’s future beyond the side has been much discussed.
Most frequently, the 52-year-old is linked to international coaching roles, with Guardiola himself saying that a national team would be his next destination in 2021 – much to the disappointment of top-flight clubs across the globe.
But whilst Guardiola is yet to confirm when he might leave Man City – and for what sort of appointment – Perarnau shared that he believes ‘social reasons’ would stop him from returning to coaching in LaLiga.
Man City manager Pep Guardiola’s next coaching destination will be awaited with interest
52-year-old began his career at his childhood club Barcelona, who he featured for as a player
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‘I don’t think due to sporting reasons (he would choose not to coach in Spain), but social reasons, yes,’ Peranau told Marca. ‘Because political reasons within football would make little sense.
‘You don’t manage a team because of politics, that is, because you are favourable to this or that person’s policy. I think I would rule it out more for social reasons.
‘There is an obvious rejection, there is a very significant part of the Spanish people who think differently than Pep and, therefore, there is a rejection, but it is social. I don’t think it’s political.’
Peranau’s verdict has roots in Guardiola’s staunch Catalan identiy, and advocation for an independent Catalonia state.
At the helm of his boyhood club Barcelona, the manager became a flashpoint for the region, and in past years has been a vocal supporter of the political cause.
In 2018, Guardiola met with jailed pro-independence political leaders at Lledoners Prison near Barcelona during an international break, having earlier that year been fined £20,000 by the FA for wearing a yellow ribbon in protest of their imprisonment.
In November of this year, Guardiola saw his name linked in a police report to Tsunami Democratic, an organisation under investigation for terrorism allegations.
‘I also don’t think it would enter the mind of the Spanish Federation to have him, but for the same reason,’ Peranau continued.
‘It would be provoking an unnecessary conflict, neither one side nor the other wants that.
‘Why are you going to get into that mess? That’s how I see it.’
Guardiola found himself in hot water with the FA for sporting a yellow ribbon in protest in 2017
The manager also fanned the flames of tension with a visit to political prisoners in Catalonia
Tensions remain high over the question of independence after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez offered a controversial amnesty to the pro-independence leaders who took part in 2017’s independence push last month.
In a successful bid to secure a majority ahead of upcoming elections, Sanchez agreed to Catalan separatist Carles Puigdemont’s demands that hundreds of separatists pursued by Spanish prosecutors for their role in the failed declaration of independence be amnestied.
Internationally, Guardiola has seen himself linked most heavily to taking charge of the Brazil national team, or England after Gareth Southgate.
Opting for the latter appointment would see the head coach work with a number of his Man City stars including Kyle Walker, Rico Lewis, Phil Foden, John Stones, and Jack Grealish.