Xavi: We're not ready for Pep to go

Barcelona midfielder Xavi admitted today that the club's players fear coach Pep Guardiola will decide not to renew his contract with the world and European champions.

"We're not ready to have a 'no' from Guardiola. We're hoping he'll stay," said the Spanish international.

"Guardiola is a key element in the Barça system. I see him satisfied, enjoying himself. He continues to be as competitive as ever but the decision in the end is his. Personally, I think he will renew his contract."

Uncertainty continues to surround the future of Guardiola, who is out of contract at the end of the season and has not yet committed to a new deal after a glittering three-and-a-half years in charge at Camp Nou.

Barça star Lionel Messi insisted yesterday that Guardiola was "more important" to the Catalan club than him, a day after taking his tally for the season to 50 goals.