Barcelona are confident that if Manchester City's proposed two-year Champions League ban is upheld, Pep Guardiola can be convinced to return to the Camp Nou dugout.
The Cityzens face worrying times ahead of the 2020/21 season, as they face being exempt from elite European football for the next two campaigns after being found in breach of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
Currently appealing against the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS are due to give their verdict in the next couple of weeks after City denied UEFA's allegations had any backing.
Should the ban go ahead, then it will leave the future's of a number of City's players up in the air, however, the Express claim it is their manager who may be on the move. They state that Barcelona are keeping a watchful eye on the ruling with the hopes of tempting their former manager back to Catalonia.
La Blaugrana's form has dropped of late, opening the door for Real Madrid to sneak into top spot in La Liga. However, Quique Setien has been in the job for less than six months and the suggestions they are looking to replace him already appear, on the face of it, as nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to the club's recent 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo.
That ignores the desires of Guardiola, who is entering the final year of his City deal. It's been previously claimed by the Spaniard that he sees his future at the Etihad Stadium and the project at hand, regardless of the outcome of their CAS ruling.
He even explained that he is 'excited' for the rest of the 2019/20 Premier League season and 'the next one'. Whether he stays beyond that season is not known for definite, but a summer departure looks exceedingly unlikely.
There is also the issue of finance. With one year left on his City deal, if Barcelona were to bring him back to Spain then they would need to by him out of his contract and, quite frankly, Barça are in serious financial disarray at present. Other than all of that, this story is a dead cert.
Source : 90min