Pep Guardiola denies saying he will leave Man City next season
Pep's staying put
The news that Pep Guardiola intends to take time out of football management after the end of next season will have been welcomed by his Premier League rivals.
Unfortunately for them, it seems Pep isn't planning on going anywhere just yet.
Having lost their crown to Liverpool in 2020, Guardiola's City roared back to claim another league title in 2021 and, for a long time, looked like they might even complete an unprecedented quadruple.
In the end, City were thwarted by Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea, who defeated them in the FA Cup semi-final and the Champions League final in Porto.
Having fallen agonisingly short in Europe again, Guardiola was asked on the eve of a new Champions League campaign if his plans to take time out after next season increased the pressure on him to win City their elusive continental crown.
His response indicated he would remain with City beyond 2023.
"Did I say I'm going to leave next season?" he replied to a reporter on Tuesday.
"I didn't say that," he added, distancing himself from comments attributed to him last month.
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) September 14, 2021
Guardiola was reported to have told media at an XP Investimentos event that he intends to manage a national team after City. Before that, he allegedly said, he will have a break.
"After seven years on this team, I think I’m going to have a stop," the quotes, which were widely circulated in the press, had said. "I’m going to have to take a break, see what we’ve done. And in the process, I would like to train a South American [team], European [national side], playing a Copa América – I want to have that experience."
Guardiola famously took a one-year sabbatical from management in 2012 when he left Barcelona. He became manager of Bayern 12 months later, remaining with them for three seasons until taking the post at City in 2016.
Last season was the first time a Guardiola team had reached a Champions League final since Barcelona's 3-1 victory over Manchester United in 2011.
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