Guardiola expected to quit Barcelona

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is expected to announce today whether he will sign a new contract, with reports in Catalonia suggesting he will resign and take a break from football.

Reports yesterday claimed the 41-year-old had already held a lengthy meeting with club president Sandro Rosell, at which he outlined his future plans.

He will convey that message to the players when they reconvene for training this morning ahead of Sunday's trip to Rayo Vallecano, and then - according to the Spanish press last night - will hold a joint press conference alongside Rosell.

The press conference is reportedly due to start at 1200 local time.

Guardiola has operated on short-term deals throughout his time at the Barca helm and his latest deal expires in the summer.

But the manner of their defeat to Real Madrid last weekend - a loss which effectively saw them relinquish their Primera Division title to Jose Mourinho's men - and the midweek exit to Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals may prompt Guardiola to walk away after four trophy-laden years.

Speculation yesterday morning suggested the former Spain and Barca midfielder was giving serious consideration to quitting.

Speaking after the game with Chelsea on Tuesday, Guardiola said: "I will speak with Tito [Vilanova, assistant manager] and see what we have to do.

"Right now, we need to talk more about the emotion of our players and how they recover because there are many players that have been playing a long time.

"We have to go to Rayo Vallecano [this weekend]. We are still Barca. We have to continue doing things as we usually do them.

"So we will talk to the president as well and we will talk about everything - the situation what happened in these days and of course we will take a decision because it is time to take a decision now."

His departure may prompt speculation he could be a contender to become the new England manager, but Press Association Sport understands that not to be the case.

Guardiola stepped up from Barca B manager to first-team boss in 2008 and has gone on to become the most successful coach in the club's illustrious history.

He has led the azulgrana to two Champions League crowns, three La Liga trophies, one Copa del Rey, three Supercopas, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.

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