Guardiola refuses to commit to Barça beyond next season

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The Independent Football

The Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has refused to commit himself to the La Liga champions beyond next summer, despite extending his contract at the Nou Camp this week.

The 40-year-old has targeted further silverware and vowed not to live off past glories after agreeing to extend his contract until the end of next season.

"I can see myself here for one more year... then, we'll see," he said. "What I want to do is get the best out of this team. Having reached the Copa del Rey final and doing so well in La Liga has shown me that there is no reason not to stay here for another year."

Guardiola has also promised to continue to demand the same high standards of himself and his team, who sit seven points clear of Real Madrid ahead of tonight's trip to Sporting Gijon. "I don't want to rest on my laurels: There is no place like this, but we have to keep winning."

Asked about his eventual departure, Guardiola was adamant: "When I feel I'm not needed, and don't have the passion and strength that I have now, that's when I'll feel enough is enough. Then I'd go."

Guardiola was doubtful about the chances of captain Carles Puyol being fit to return for Wednesday's Champions League Round of 16 trip to Arsenal. The centre-back has been out of action since last month. "He's doing well," Guardiola said. "But if you ask him to make an extra effort, he'll get hurt again. When we ask for a little more, it becomes a problem. He's improving, but he's not at that stage where he can keep going and tolerate too much effort."

In Italy, struggling Juventus host the Serie A champions Internazionale tomorrow, with both sides in need of victory. Inter trail leaders Milan by five points with a game in hand, while Juventus languish in eighth place.

"Home or away, when Inter play Juventus it's always a huge game," Inter's president Massimo Moratti said. "It's important that things don't get out of hand – on the pitch or off it. The championship race is very much alive and we're starting to get involved in it again."

Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo could miss Tuesday's Champions League Round of 16 first leg at home to Tottenham after twisting his knee during training yesterday.

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