(Reuters) - Pep Guardiola said on Friday that he has no plans to leave Manchester City and return to Barcelona after the Spanish club’s presidential candidate Victor Font stated he wanted to bring him back to the Camp Nou.
Guardiola has a year left on his City contract and Font said he wanted to reunite him with club talisman Lionel Messi, in a bid to ensure the Argentina forward extended his stay beyond 2021.
Guardiola spent four seasons as Barca boss, winning three league titles and the Champions League twice, before they parted ways in 2012 but said he wanted to earn a new contract at City.
“I’m incredibly happy here, delighted to be in Manchester and hopefully I can do a good job this season to stay longer,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of Saturday’s match away at Sheffield United.
City have had an underwhelming start this season, however, and sit 13th in the Premier League standings, five points behind leaders Everton with a game in hand.
City have struggled with injuries to strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus and Guardiola said Premier League clubs missed a trick by not opting to continue with the temporary, but optional, rule of allowing for five substitutes in a match.
“There is statistics... Premier League players have 47% more muscular injuries than previous season due to no preparation and the amount of games,” Guardiola said.
“All the leagues - Germany, Spain - have five substitutions to protect the players, not to protect one team.
“Hopefully they can reconsider and do what the rest of the world does. We have to adjust, due to the pandemic the reality is different than before.”
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis
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