Pep Guardiola responds to reports Lionel Messi wants him back at Barcelona

Pep Guardiola & Leo Messi

Whatever happens during his tenure at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola's place in Barcelona's history is well and truly assured, and he'll go down as one of, if not, their finest manager of all time.

Not only did the Spaniard graduate from their youth ranks as a player before going on to play a whopping 366 times for the senior team, but he also led the club to an incredible 14 trophies in just four years as manager between 2008 and 2012.

Luis Enrique's position as Barca boss has been the subject of intense debate after the 4-0 thrashing at Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, and they remain a point behind Real Madrid in La Liga, having played two games more.

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Following the shock result in Paris, reports emerged that Lionel Messi wanted Guardiola to return for a second spell in charge of Barcelona and it was even claimed that the 29-year-old engaged in a phonecall in an attempt to persuade Pep back to the Nou Camp.

Pep & Messi reunion?

Messi enjoyed one of the best periods of his glittering career under the current Man City boss, scoring 211 goals in just 219 games, and the Citizens were even confident that Guardiola's arrival could tempt the five-time Ballon d'Or winner into joining him in Manchester.

As you would expect, the subject of Messi was raised in the 46-year-old coach's latest press conference, and he was asked whether there was any chance of him replacing Enrique.

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Pep on Barca return

However, he has ruled out the possibility of returning to the Catalan giants for a second spell in charge at any point in the future.

"No, I will never go back to Barcelona to be coach there,” Guardiola said ahead of City's FA Cup trip to Championship high-flyers Huddersfield Town on Saturday, via Goal. “My period there is gone."

On Messi's future, he added: "I said many times about Messi, my desire is that he will finish his career at Barcelona."

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol  - Liga BBVA

Regarding Barca's Champions League hopes, per Sport-English, Guardiola also claimed "If there’s a team that can comeback, with their mentality, it’s Barcelona", before insisting that "they’re still the best team in the world".

He continued: "They’ve dominated world football in the last 10 years. It’s a surprise what happened in Paris, but anything can happen in football these days. It’s happened to me, too. There is a lot of competition and the rivals are really strong.”

What do YOU make of Messi wanting Guardiola back at Barca? Can they really make history by overturning their 4-0 deficit against PSG? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!

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