Mascherano Hoping Guardiola Stays

  • By: Andres Garavaglia
  • Last Updated: March 15 2012, 11:07 GMT

Javier Mascherano insists the Barcelona players are not ready to let Pep Guardiola move on as coach at the end of the season.

Javier Mascherano: Wants Guardiola to stay

Guardiola's rolling one-year deal expires in the summer and he has yet to make a decision on whether to remain at the Camp Nou helm.

The former Spain international has been mooted as a candidate to replace Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea and there have also been suggestions he could take a 12-month break from football.

However, Mascherano says Guardiola means more to the club than just being able to deliver trophies and hopes he will not leave.

"We're not prepared for Guardiola to leave, and not just because he has won everything there is to win," the Argentina international told a press conference.

"He has something else that is very important and that is that the club is very united and everyone backs him at the club.

"People respect him not only for what he's won, but how he's won. Nobody should make the mistake of thinking that we only want him to be with us because he makes us win."

UEFA Champions League holders Barcelona are awaiting Friday's draw for the quarter-finals and Mascherano has no preference regarding an opponent.

He added: "It's very difficult to have a favourite team to meet in the next round. It's the best eight teams in Europe, so we'll see who we get in the next round.

"Real Madrid are, of course, one of the favourites because they have a very strong team and they're playing very consistently."