Pep Guardiola has insisted he will not walk away from Manchester City even if the club is found guilty of breaking financial fair play rules and relegated to League One.

City have been charged with more than 100 breaches of Premier League rules, all of which the club deny, and are awaiting a ruling.

Everton’s 10-point deduction for a single breach of the league’s profit and sustainability rules has brought focus back onto City’s fate and led to speculation that if the charges are proven then they may face a heftier punishment, including relegation.

The City manager was asked whether he would consider his position at the reigning league champions should such a scenario play out. “It’s a good question,” Guardiola said. “I will answer when I have the sentence [decision].

“You are questioning like we have been punished. And in the moment we are innocent until guilt is proved. I know the people want it. I know, I feel it. I will wait. Wait and see it and after the sentence has been done we will come here and explain it.

“But absolutely I will not consider my future [if] it depends on being here [in the Premier League] or being in League One. Absolutely. There is more chance to stay if we are in League One than if we were in the Champions League.

Guardiola made it clear that he feels Everton’s case is different to City’s. The Merseyside club were found to have overspent by £19.5 million whereas the main accusation of the Treble winners is that they inflated sponsorship deals.

Getty: Marc Atkins
Getty: Marc Atkins

What people accuse us of we do not agree with,” Guardiola added. “We are going to defend [ourselves] and after the resolution is done, I will be here, like a spokesman for my club.

“I want to say the case for Everton, and I don’t know what happened, but only I know from the lawyers and people at my club is that they are completely different cases.

“I know when people are saying: ‘Ok, City — why don’t they go to the Conference?’ Wait. Wait. And after what’s going to happen is going to happen.

Haaland remains injury concern

The recent developments in the Premier League have somewhat overshadowed this weekend’s big game between first-placed City and Liverpool, who are one point and one place behind the leaders.

City are on a tremendous home run, whereby they have won all of their 23 games at the Etihad Stadium this calendar year and last tasted defeat over 12 months ago.

Guardiola hopes that Erling Haaland is fit after he withdrew from international duty with Norway with an injury, but there are several other injury concerns for the manager to contend with ahead of the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

He trained yesterday with some niggles, today we train and hope he can be part of it,” Guardiola said. “We have a few problems like many clubs, we’ll see after our last training session. I will know at 6pm who we have available, it’s always plan A.

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