Football: Barca warn Guardiola against trying to poach their players

MADRID (REUTERS) - Barcelona have warned former coach Pep Guardiola not to try to lure away any of their players when he finally decides which club he is going to coach next season.

He became Barca's most successful coach, leading them 14 trophies in four years, before stepping down last May to take a year's sabbatical, and there has been a buzz of media speculation in recent days on where he might return to work.

"For all Barca fans, it will be tough to see Pep coaching another team but we will get used to it," Barca president Sandro Rosell told Spanish radio station RAC.1.

"I hope he focuses his attentions on other players, and not ours, when it comes to building his new project."

Rosell went on to say that recent unsuccessful approaches from Manchester City proved that it would be difficult to tempt players and staff away from the Spanish Primera Liga leaders.

Former Barca director Ferran Soriano and sports director Txiki Begiristain now work with the English Premier League champions but Rosell said: "I have confidence in our players and I don't see any of them wanting leave."

"There have already been offensives from City at all levels of the structures of our club but nobody wants to leave," he added. "They have tried to fish here but no one was biting."

Guardiola's successor Tito Vilanova, his former assistant, has guided Barca to the top of La Liga with an 11-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid, and they host Malaga in a King's Cup quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.