Posted on Apr 17
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said on Tuesday that talk of him leaving the European champions for Chelsea was "fantasy".
Guardiola has been reported to be the number one target for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who earlier this season sacked Andre Villas-Boas and installed former Blues midfielder Roberto di Matteo as caretaker coach until the end of the season.
But not even the suggestion of a £10 million-a-year ($15.9m) contract appeared enough to sway the 41-year-old.
Speaking on the eve of Barcelona's Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Guardiola downplayed all talk of a move, even though he has yet to sign a new contract with the Spanish giants.
"It is fantasy, it's hypothetical," he said. "I am coach of Barcelona now and they (Chelsea) 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."
The fact Guardiola has yet to put pen to paper on a new Camp Nou contract has led to intense speculation on his future but, not for the first time this season, he insisted he was just concentrating on the match in front of him.
"I just want to focus on the game," he said ahead of Wednesday's clash in west London. "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."
Several Chelsea players were on the losing side in 2009 when, having been denied several possible penalties, they saw Andres Iniesta's stoppage-time goal send Barcelona into the Champions League final.
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."
Barcelona's win over Chelsea three years ago was arguably the catalyst for their emergence as one of the greatest ever club sides and Guardiola, recalling that match, 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."
Although Barcelona will be firm favourites for this semi-final, Guardiola has been impressed by Chelsea's revival under Di Matteo; comparing his impact to that of Guus Hiddink, who had a caretaker spell as Blues boss three years ago.
"They have the same spirit, the same soul, the same foundation," said Guardiola.
"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.
"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."
Meanwhile, Guardiola defended his side against accusations -- mainly from Real Madrid and ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho -- of diving.
"They take the ball, pass the ball, take the ball, pass the ball," he said of his players. "Diving is for the swimming pool."