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Barca give Pep time to decide

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta says the club is happy to give Pep Guardiola all the time he needs to make a decision over his future.

• La Liga: Barca demolish Valencia

Guardiola has made a point of signing only one-year contracts since taking charge at the Camp Nou, and has yet to agree an extension to his current deal.

Speculation is growing that he could take charge of a club in Serie A, the Premier League or the Middle East at the end of the current season, but Zubizarreta says the manager is under no pressure to make a decision on his Barca future.

"Pep knows he has all the confidence of the club and the team," he told Canal Plus. "He's asked for time and that is not a problem. We have given him no deadline - and nor will we. He has our trust.

"If he needs time, he will take it. Every year that he has renewed, he needed time to make the choice. He is a coach who prefers to work under the pressure of a one-year contract. That type of contract is fine with us. The club is calm."

Lionel Messi added: "The manager knows what we think, but he will make his decision at the appropriate time. Obviously, we all want him to stay at Barca because, to us, he's very important."

Barcelona won 5-1 against Valencia on Sunday to reduce Real Madrid's lead at the top of La Liga to ten points, but Guardiola said after the game he was unhappy with the size of the gap.

"When one sees how we've competed throughout the year, they think we don't deserve it," he said. "It's a shame we're so far away. I sincerely believe that our play isn't representative of being ten points down, but we are and we have to live with it. The distance is what it is - let's see if we can fulfil our job."

On his squad, he added: "We're so lucky to be living in a time when these players play. This team dignifies the sport."

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