LONDON,
United Kingdom
Pep
Guardiola has told friends he is going to remain as manager of Manchester City
even if the appeal against their two-year European football ban is rejected by
the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), according to media reports on Monday.

The 49-year-old Spaniard is said by The Times to have told
both the City board and the players he will be staying despite the sanction and
reported interest from Serie A champions Juventus.

Guardiola, who has been at City for four years, told the
players of his intention at a meeting on Saturday.

The paper said he was expected to announce he is staying at
a press conference on Tuesday, the eve of their re-arranged Premier League
match with West Ham.

However, it is far from certain he will hold one.

He and his West Ham counterpart David Moyes had already
performed the pre-match media duties prior to the February 9 game being
postponed due to Storm Ciara.

The Sun claims the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich
manager has told friends he is going to at least see out his contract with the
club which runs until 2021.

He is old friends with City executives Ferran Soriano and
Txiki Begiristain and enjoys an amicable relationship with club chairman
Khaldoon al Mubarak.

“He is not the kind of person whose first thought is to
leave when things turn bad,” sources close to Guardiola told The Daily
Telegraph.

According to those sources Guardiola — who was informed of
the UEFA ruling prior to its official announcement when he returned from a
break in Barcelona on Friday — is “calm” about the ban.

Guardiola has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and
twice lifted the League Cup since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in 2016.

 – ‘Their own decisions’ – 

As for the players the Daily Mail says they will stay too,
although the Telegraph state the opposite should the club lose the appeal.

England striker Raheem Sterling has been the subject of
rumours surrounding a likely bid by Real Madrid — who City face in the
Champions League last 16 later this month.

However, agent Aidy Ward, who has represented Sterling since
he was at school, told the Daily Mail his client was focused on City and not
any transfer speculation.

“Raheem is solely focused on Manchester City and will
not be distracted by any talk of transfers at the moment,” said Ward.

The club, though, according to the Telegraph, will leave it
up to the individuals once the decision on the appeal is delivered, which they
believe will be in May.

“Everyone has been told they need to stay professional
but also there is an understanding that they have their own decisions to
make,” said the source.

UEFA announced the sanction on Friday, with European
football’s governing body punishing City for what it said were
“serious” financial fair-play breaches between 2012 and 2016.

City were also fined 30 million euros ($32.5 million).

The heavy sanctions relate to an alleged overstatement of
sponsorship revenue in the club’s efforts to comply with financial fair-play
rules.

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