MANCHESTER (REUTERS) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is "100 per cent" sure he will stay at the club despite the two-year ban from European football handed out by Uefa for serious breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.
There has been speculation over the Spaniard's future, given his side could be barred from competing in the next two Champions League campaigns but Guardiola, whose contract runs until June 2021, was quick to dismiss such talk.
"Why should I leave? I said a month ago, I love this club, I like to be here. Why should I leave?," he told Sky Sports after his team's 2-0 win over West Ham United in the Premier League on Wednesday (Feb 19).
"If they don't sack me, I will stay here 100 per cent, more than ever.
"First, because I want to stay. It's something special, more than the contract I have. I said before, I say now, I want to stay and help the club and maintain this level as long as possible."
City are appealing against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland and the club's hierarchy have insisted they have done no wrong and will prevail.
"We spoke with the players, in the next three months we will focus on what we have to do and after we will see the sentence. Personally, I will be here," Guardiola told reporters.
"It is so sensitive with the legal (aspect) that I am not the person to talk about that," he said, when asked about the case.
"I know a little bit the reasons why and I support the club 100 per cent. I trust what they told me and that is what I can say.
"When someone believes he is right, he is going to fight to the end and that is what we are going to do. It is an incredible thing to fight for our people who support this club and we are going to do it. As a club, a team, we are going to do it."
Guardiola has won two Premier League titles at City. His side are in the last 16 of the Champions League and lie second in the domestic standings, 22 points behind Liverpool.
The former Barcelona manager said he had discussed with his players the right approach to take to the rest of the campaign, in light of the legal moves.
"We have a deal, we are professional on the pitch. What happened off the pitch, we cannot say, we cannot do much," Guardiola said.
"So we talked about what we were going to do until the end of the season, what we have to do, especially for the people who love this club. There are many, and that is going to happen, so (we) play our games as best as possible."