Pep Guardiola has dismissed as fantasy the idea he is considering quitting Barcelona for Chelsea.
Guardiola is said to be Blues owner Roman Abramovich’s No 1 target to succeed Andre Villas-Boas as manager, with reports suggesting he could be offered a £10million-a-year contract.
But the 41-year-old gave short shrift to questions about whether he would swap the Nou Camp for Stamford Bridge, claiming Chelsea already had a good manager in caretaker Roberto Di Matteo.
Guardiola, who has still to sign a new contract at Barca to replace the one that expires this summer, said: ‘It is fantasy, it’s hypothetical.
‘I am coach of Barcelona now and they have a good manager who is getting unbelievable results.
‘It’s not useful for Chelsea or for Barcelona to talk about that. There is no time to talk about that.’
Guardiola has been asked countless times this season whether he will stay on at Barca and it was no different tonight.
He replied: ‘I just want to focus on the game. This is a dream come true, to be here ahead of this great game.
‘I just want to make sure my players are focused on the game and can enjoy playing matches like that.’
That game is Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge, the latest instalment in a Chelsea-Barca rivalry that has become a saga.
The build-up has been dominated by talk of revenge, with the Blues still smarting from the sides’ last meeting in 2009.
That saw Chelsea denied several penalties before Andres Iniesta’s stoppage-time away goal saw Barcelona triumph.
Guardiola said: ‘A long time has passed. I don’t think they are playing for revenge.
‘What you have lost, is lost. We will both be playing to try to reach the final in Munich.’
Barca emerged from that triumph to establish themselves as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – club side ever to play the game.
Guardiola, who recalled his euphoric celebrations that night, said: ‘That was our first year together.
‘We had that kind of love story you have in the first year.
‘We were united, and we scored that goal right at the end. The rest is history.’
While Barca have gone on to conquer the world since 2009, Chelsea have endured a turbulent three years that brought them their first ever double but more Champions League misery.
They looked certain to suffer the same fate this season before Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking just over six weeks ago but they are a side reborn under Roberto Di Matteo.
Di Matteo has had a near-identical impact to Guus Hiddink three years ago and Guardiola said: ‘They have the same spirit, the same soul, the same foundation.
‘They’ve changed the manager and a couple of players, but the same players are largely there.
‘I do admire that generation of players, who have done so well over the last seven years and have got into so many semi-finals and finals, and competed in the Premier League so well.’
Despite the Chelsea revival, they have been written off in many quarters against Guardiola’s all-conquering side.
But the Barca boss said with extreme modesty: ‘I’m struggling to see how we’ll hurt them, create chances and score.
‘We shouldn’t forget they’ve been very consistent here in this stadium, winning all five of their (Champions League) games.’
He added: ‘We’re the holders at the moment, so everyone wants to beat us and play well against us.’
Barca’s success has been tarnished somewhat by accusations of diving and claims they get the benefit of the doubt from referees – as in 2009.
Guardiola dismissed this, saying of their philosophy: ‘They take the ball, pass the ball, take the ball, pass the ball. Diving is for the swimming pool.’
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has been their biggest critic and would love nothing more than for his former side to beat the club that has become his nemesis.
Asked whether his ‘friend’ Mourinho may try to help Chelsea, Guardiola said: ‘Thank you for calling him ‘my friend’.
‘I don’t know if the players have an extra motivation for that reason.
‘I think they’ll play to get a good result ahead of the second game and to get to Munich.’