Neil Warnock: I heard it last year - Pep is heading to Chelsea
The news that Pep Guardiola is leaving Barcelona doesn't surprise me; and I will not be shocked if he turns up at Stamford Bridge. He may just be taking a break, but I was told at the start of the season, by a very well-connected football man, that Guardiola was being lined up to take over at Chelsea next season.
These things have a habit of seeping out within clubs and I do wonder if it is any coincidence that Barça hit a bad spell after the Chelsea job became available. Just as Tottenham have struggled since Harry Redknapp's name was linked with England I wonder if Barça's players felt something was not right in the last few games.
It is strange when you know you are leaving a club. It happened to me at Sheffield United in our Premier League season. During the campaign Portsmouth approached the club asking permission to interview me for a then-vacant post. United allowed me to speak to them and although I decided, in the end, to stay at Bramall Lane it was never quite the same.
As the season drew to a close I got the feeling the club did not want to keep me there and while nothing was said in public our results were disappointing in that period. Looking back I don't think my heart was in it 100 per cent at that time which may have affected the players.
Barcelona have better players, but they are still vulnerable to the doubts that nag at all footballers and the uncertainty about their manager may have affected them.
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