Pep Guardiola to end reign as Barcelona coach in summer
Pep Guardiola will stand down as Barcelona manager at the end of the season after deciding not to renew his rolling one-year contract.
The 41-year-old, who made 479 appearances for Barca between 1990 and 2001, was appointed in 2008 and has led the Catalan club to 13 trophies.
Possible contenders for the job
Marcelo Bielsa: Managed Argentina before moving to Athletic Bilbao, where their style of play has taken them to the Europa League final in his first season
Laurent Blanc: A former Barca defender, Le President is known for his leadership skills, and won the league with Bordeaux before taking on the French national job
Luis Enrique: Former Barca and Spain team-mate of Guardiola, Enrique also managed Barca B for three years before taking up the top job at Roma
Ernesto Valverde: A fervent exponent of the Barca style of football, the Spaniard led Olympiacos to three Greek titles in his two spells at the club
Andre Villas-Boas: A protege of ex-Barca manager Sir Bobby Robson, AVB left Chelsea without success, but won four trophies in one season with Porto
But they look set to miss out to Real Madrid in La Liga and were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea.
It is understood that Guardiola will take a year-long break from the game.
A 1230 BST news conference has been called at the Nou Camp, where he is expected to explain the decision.
Guardiola spent three hours with Barca president Sandro Rosell on Thursday and informed his players on Friday morning.
He is the most successful coach in Barca history, with three league titles, two Champions Leagues and a Copa del Rey among his haul.
The former Spain midfielder has overseen the rise of three-time world player of the year Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, while signing Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal.
Guardiola was particularly close to Messi - describing him as "the best ever" player - while the Argentina forward suggested Guardiola was the main factor behind Barca's recent success.
During talks which took place at Rosell's home in the city, Guardiola is thought to have said that he "could not go on".
What began as discussions over an extension to his deal soon turned into a push to keep Guardiola at the club.
Rosell is understood to have offered Guardiola unlimited spending power this summer but the Catalan did not base his decision on money.
Guardiola, a former Barca captain, has always maintained he would do what was best for the club.
It will be interesting to see who takes over and also where Guardiola ends up next.Remove adverts from this post, click here to register a free account!