Football

Guardiola to stick with City despite ban

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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, reportedly told the players of his intention at a meeting on Saturday.

“Look, whatever league we are in, I will still be here,” Guardiola told them according to Sky Sports News.

“Even if they put us in League Two, I will still be here. This is a time for sticking together.”

He is likely to confirm this at the press conference on Wednesday following the re-arranged Premier League match with West Ham.

The match on February 9 was 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.

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