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Pep Guardiola recommends Premier League rival for Barcelona job following secret talks



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has recommended Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi for the vacant Barcelona job.

The 53-year-old has reportedly become involved with Barcelona’s hunt for a new manager, after current boss Xavi announced plans to resign at the end of the current campaign.

As well as playing for the Catalan club, Pep Guardiola managed Barcelona for a four-year spell between 2008 and 2012, winning an incredible 14 trophies; including the La Liga title, UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.

Guardiola quit the Camp Nou for Bayern Munich prior to completing a move to the Etihad Stadium in 2016, with the Spaniard currently enjoying his eighth campaign with Manchester City.

The City boss has won 16 trophies with the Sky Blues and won a maiden Champions League title as part of an historic treble last season, as Manchester City became the first side since Manchester United in 1999 to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.

Guardiola is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until 2025 but could still sign another extension with the Blues to further extend his stay in England.

Links to the vacant Barcelona job next summer have been rejected, although an international job could be on the cards for the 53-year-old in the future.

The Catalan is still an influential figure at his former club however, with Guardiola having reportedly recommended Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi to Barcelona president Joan Laporta during secret talks.

Sport Witness relay a Mundo Deportivo report which claims that the Italian manager is the ‘chosen one’ at the La Liga club following Guardiola’s recent recommendation.

De Zerbi, who has also been linked with both the Liverpool and Bayern Munich jobs, replaced Graham Potter at the AMEX Stadium in September 2022.

The 44-year-old guided Brighton to a 6th place finish in the Premier League table last season, as the Seagulls qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

De Zerbi, who was even tipped as a potential future successor to Guardiola at Manchester City, currently sees his Brighton side in 7th place in the table and facing Roma in the Europa League last-16 next Thursday.