Barcelona Deny Laporta Claims

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Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta has denied claims by Joan Laporta the club could have done more to ensure Pep Guardiola continued as coach.

Guardiola decided to end his four-year spell in charge after being eliminated by Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, with his assistant Tito Vilanova named as the new coach for next season.

However, Laporta, who promoted Guardiola to first-team boss in 2008, told Canal Plus that Rossell had failed to make the necessary guarantees to try to convince Guardiola to stay.

He said, “One of the consequences of the performance of Sandro Rosell’s board is to destroy everything that we did in our era. Therefore, it was inevitable Pep Guardiola would walk away.

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“I think they could have done more for him to continue in charge.

“My perception is they didn’t do what was necessary because they weren’t interested in him staying there.”

Zubizarreta says Guardiola’s own words prove the current Barca board did everything in their power to keep the man who has so far delivered 13 trophies in his tenure, with the Copa del Rey final still to come later this month.