Barcelona: Pep Guardiola Is Our Sir Alex

Pep Guardiola can be Barcelona's coach for years to come and rival the Manchester United tenure of Sir Alex Ferguson, according to the Catalan club's president Sandro Rosell. Speculation has linked Guardiola with a move away from the Camp Nou, even with Barca topping the table, and he has been suggested as a possible replacement for Ferguson when he eventually retires at Old Trafford.

But, despite Guardiola also being admired at Chelsea, Rosell expects Guardiola to stay not only in the short term, but for many years to come. "I see no reason why not. He may want to renew every year. Guardiola could be the Barca Ferguson. He can extend his contract as many times as he wants. Pep is Barca. He lives for this club. That is what differentiates him from many coaches," Rosell said.

Ferguson, 68, has been in charge of United for 24 years, and last week surpassed Sir Matt Busby as the club's longest serving manager. He has won 11 league titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four league cups as well as several other trophies. Only informal talks have been held about extending the contract of Guardiola, who signed a one-year deal in the summer after guiding the club to the Primera Division crown.

And although the former midfielder says he prefers working with short-term deals, it is believed Rosell has asked him to name any length he chooses for a new deal. Meanwhile, Rosell said that he hoped Brazil right back Dani Alves would snub interest from Manchester City to stay at the club, but admitted they would not be held to ransom by his contract demands.

"Common sense is important in this case. We must defend the interests of the club. Dani is an extraordinary player and I cannot imagine the club without Alves in the short term. But the club comes before anyone. One-hundred-and-11 years of history will continue with or without Alves," Rossel added.

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