Barça brass confident Pep will renew

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said today he is confident that coach Pep Guardiola will prolong his contract with the Spanish and European champions beyond the end of the current season.

Guardiola prefers to renew his deal with the club on an annual basis and as the season has progressed without him committing his future to the Catalan side, speculation has mounted that he may leave in June.

"The conditions are favourable for Pep to renew," Zubizarreta said during an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1, adding he had no list of possible candidates should Guardiola decide to leave.

Guardiola waited until 8 February last year before inking a new one-year deal. The 41-year-old has been coach of Barcelona since 2008, during which time he has led the Catalan club to 13 major honours, including three La Liga titles and two UEFA Champions League crowns.