Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola is determined to honour his contract with the Bundesliga champions.
Reports in England over the weekend claimed the former Barcelona tactician had already agreed terms to replace Manuel Pellegrini as coach of Manchester City at the end of the season.
But Guardiola, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2016, has brushed aside such speculation and claims he has no plans to leave the Allianz Arena any time soon.
“I have a contract and I will stay here at Bayern. I’ve already said 200 million times — I’ll be here next season. That’s all,” he said yesterday.
Guardiola joined Bayern in the summer of 2013 after enjoying incredible success with Barcelona, first as a player and then as a coach.
The 44-year-old won 14 titles — including two Champions League crowns — in a trophy-laden four-year stint at the helm of the Catalan giants. And Guardiola, who is considered by many of his peers as the world’s best coach, has followed his success at Barca by winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles.
But despite that, and the speculation that City want him, Guardiola is unwilling to talk himself up.
“To be the best coach in the world means sh*t,” the former Spain international said. “I’ve said it a million times.
“I win because I have great players.”
Bayern won their third straight Bundesliga title last month but have suffered a drop in form since and Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Augsburg was their fourth straight loss in all competitions.
The German champions next take on Guardiola’s former club Barcelona at the Allianz Arena tonight needing to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit to reach the Champions League final.
“I have won everything as a coach and as a player,” Guardiola said. “I always give the best of me. I’m happy. If I lose, it’s not the end of my career.”
However, Guardiola believes his side can stun his former employers tonight.
“We are Bayern and will do everything we can,” Guardiola said. “We will use our heads and our hearts.
“But we are playing against the best European team in the past 15 years.”
The five-time European winners conceded three goals in the space of 13 minutes in last week’s opening leg in Spain.
Two goals from Lionel Messi and one from Neymar put Guardiola’s former club Barca one step closer to their eighth final. However, Bayern did hit back from a 3-1 deficit to beat FC Porto 6-1 at home and reach the semi-finals of the competition.
“It’s not the same but we will try,” Guardiola said.
Failure to score at the Nou Camp means Bayern have plenty of work to do in attack but they must also stop Barca’s formidable attacking trio of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez from scoring.
“People think we have to attack but the first thing we must do is defend because Barca has become the best counter-attacking team in the world,” Guardiola said. “Obviously, we will have to attack more than we did in Barcelona.”
The German champions are in the midst of a five-match losing streak in all competitions and are without star duo Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, who both suffered season-ending injuries.
Moreover, Bayern defenders Holger Badstuber and David Alaba are also out injured while Barca are at full strength.
Bayern have won all five home games en route to the semi-finals but take on a Barca side that has won its four consecutive away games in the competition.
Barca are, however, looking for their first victory at the Allianz Arena.
“We want to win the return leg,” Barca coach Luis Enrique said. “We have not won the tie and hence, we don’t see ourselves in the final yet.
“Bayern has a lot of potential to score goals. We will have to go out focused on the idea of winning.
“We don’t want the game to be a crazy one. We have to use our weapons to hurt our rivals.”
Javier Mascherano echoed his manager’s sentiments.
“We are not complacent about what could happen. Bayern is a club with a lot of history. We know we have the tools to find a win.
“We are playing to achieve our objectives and defend the honour of a club like FC Barcelona.
“A final in Europe is one of the most important games you can play in, as is this semi-final. You are playing against world class players. They are the kind of games that you dream about playing in as a kid.
“In my case, I try to enjoy it and experience it with intensity. You never know when it’s going to happen again.”
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