Guardiola's story with Barca not over

Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes that Pep Guardiola still has more to accomplish and hopes he chooses to stay at the Camp Nou for next season.

A Barcelona discussion in progress.

The Barcelona coach has been non-commital about his contract and has not signed an extension so far, even as only a few months remain till the end of the season. With the Catalan outfit ten points behind Real Madrid after 22 games, it is a cause for concern for the club hierarchy.

Barcelona take on Valencia on Sunday at the Camp Nou knowing that a victory is a must if they are to hope to secure their title. 

Club president Sandro Rosell had called Guardiola "irreplaceable" last week but reiterated that the final decision was up to Guardiola on whether he chooses to leave or stay. 

Similarly, Bartomeu had positive things to say about the multi-award winning coach. 

"We would like him to renew for many more years," Bartomeu told local newspaper Sport. 

"He is the best coach in the world and he has not stopped making history since he arrived.

"Personally, I think that Guardiola's story with Barca is not yet over."

Real Madrid, on the other hand, have hinted that their manager Jose Mourinho will remain for another season. 

"He has two years left on his contract and is happy at the club," Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno was quoted as saying by Marca. 

"I have not talked to him, but I know that he is.

"The debate may be [going on] in the English press, but not at the club. In fact, the pre-season plans are already being designed by him."

The match on Sunday will be a replay of the second leg of the Copa Del Rey semi-final on February 8 which Barcelona won 2-0. The final will take place at Valencia's home ground, the Mestalla, with Barcelona facing Athletic Bilbao.  

Messi will play in his 200th La Liga game, becoming the youngest player to achieve the landmark in the process. Alexis Sanchez looks set to start after a match-winning performance against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League where he netted two goals. His current record in the La Liga stands at eight goals in 13 matches. 

Valencia will be without midfielder Ever Banega who will miss the match due to injury, according to Superdeporte. Los Che beat Stoke City 1-0 in the round-of-32 match in the Europa League on Thursday. Barcelona welcome back the midfield duo of Sergio Busquets and Seydou Keita from injury and international duty respectively. 

A report in the Daily Mail also hinted late on Friday that Barcelona, alongside Manchester United, are interested in signing Valencia centreback Adil Rami. The French defender has been impressive in his debut season and the Valencia defence has conceded just about a goal per game after 22 matches. 

The statistic compares favourably with league leaders Real Madrid who have not been too solid defensively this term having conceded 21 goals this season. 



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