(Reuters) – Pep Guardiola is confident his achievements at Manchester City will not be tarnished by UEFA’s investigation into alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches and trusted the club to resolve the matter, the Spanish manager said on Friday.
UEFA opened a formal investigation into the alleged FFP violations on Thursday, a move Premier League champions City welcomed in a bid to end speculation surrounding the club’s sponsorship agreements.
When asked whether he was concerned his achievements at City would be tainted by the allegations, Guardiola told reporters: “No, absolutely not.
“The club made a statement, so I can’t add more than that. The club are open, hopefully it can finish as soon as possible.
“I trust a lot what the club has done, because I know them and hopefully they can solve it as soon as possible.”
German publication Der Spiegel reported in November that City’s Abu Dhabi owners inflated sponsorship agreements in order to comply with FFP requirements.
City’s statement on Thursday said accusations of financial irregularities were entirely false.
City host eighth-placed Watford on Saturday and Guardiola hailed their manager Javi Gracia, who looks set to lead them to their best-ever finish in the Premier League.
“It’s incredible what he’s done, one of the toughest games we had,” Guardiola, who was voted February’s Premier League manager of the month, said.
“In the last nine games, they have physicality, quality one-on-one, strong in the air, well organised… what he’s done has been incredible.”
Guardiola was unsure if centre back Aymeric Laporte would play a part but confirmed midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was still unfit after suffering a hamstring injury in last weekend’s 1-0 win at Bournemouth.
“All of them are getting better. Ayme (Laporte) is back, he trained the last two to three days but I don’t know if he’s available for tomorrow,” said Guardiola.
“Fernandinho is out, Kevin (De Bruyne) is not right, not fit. John Stones is not fit either but the other ones are OK.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)