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Vilanova coy on Guardiola future

Barcelona head coach Tito Vilanova has played down speculation over the future of the Catalans’ former mentor Pep Guardiola.

Guardiola was linked heavily with the managerial vacancy at Chelsea following Roberto Di Matteo’s axing earlier in the week.

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was eventually appointed to the post on an interim basis until the end of the season.

“I don’t know what Guardiola will do next,” Vilanova said. “His future is his call.

“All I know is that he wanted to take a gap year to rest and he is not resting so much.

“Let’s give him a break, he will decide whatever he wants do and for sure he’ll let you know.”

Ahead of Barcelona’s trip to Levante on Saturday, Vilanova also said he would protect his players who are attracting interest from English sides.

The Spanish giants lost Cesc Fabregas and Pique in their junior days before they returned to the club.

“I don’t think they are only after Barcelona’s players,” he said. “I think they are after good players, and there are some good players in Barcelona but also in other teams.

“I’m not worried about this, the most important thing is where the player wants to play.

“Anyway, there are clauses, if those teams have money enough and they want to pay the money.”

The former Barcelona assistant is also anticipating a difficult encounter against La Liga outfit Levante, who have lost just once in six outings.

“I think that game with Levante will be a difficult one like always as they have improved in recent years,” said Vilanova.

“In most league games they have scored a lot of goals but have also not conceded many.

“They also have some very good players who are strong and hard working. I think that the game with Levante will be difficult because they are at home.”

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Sat 24 November, 2012
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