Barcelona presidential favourite wants Pep Guardiola to return to fulfil Lionel Messi wish

Barcelona presidential frontrunner Victor Font wants former manager Pep Guardiola to return to the Nou Camp to help convince Lionel Messi to stay at the club. Font is the favourite to replace Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned from his role as president on Tuesday.

Messi made it clear in the summer he wanted to leave Barcelona and accused Bartomeu of going back on his promise to let him walk away on a free transfer.

The job of the incoming president will be to ensure Messi signs a new contract, with his current deal expiring at the end of the current campaign.

The Argentina superstar wants to be part of a successful side again, winning Champions League titles.

Font knows his task, if elected, will be a tough one to bring back the success that the likes of Guardiola had during his first spell in charge.

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However, Font says bringing Guardiola back, along with fellow Barca legends, is a huge step in the right direction for the club and in keeping hold of Messi.

Guardiola, who won 14 trophies in a four-year spell in charge at Barca between 2008 and 2012, sees his contract at Manchester City expire at the end of this season.

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“Replacing the best generation the world of football has ever seen, which I believe we have had over the last decade, is a big challenge,” Font told Sky Sports News.

“Particularly at a time when competition is intense and many clubs are owned by very powerful owners.

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“FC Barcelona also need a significant investment to rebuild the stadium and all in a world which has been hit with one of the worst crises ever (coronavirus).

“It is clear we need a very solid plan to meet these challenges and this is what we have been doing over the last few years.

“It is our intention to build a very strong and competitive project and we are very lucky at Barca that we inherited a style of play that Johan Cruyff instilled throughout the organisation.

“And most of the best professionals who know about this style are also fans and love the club – like Pep Guardiola, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Carles] Puyol.

“They are all legends that love Barcelona but do not work for Barca today – we need to bring them back to ensure we will have a very competitive project.

“The only thing Messi needs is to know he is part of a competitive project that aspires to win the next Champions League.

“We have no doubt that if we basically have the honour to take the helm of FC Barcelona we will be able to achieve that [Messi staying].”

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