Clubs, English Premier League, Manchester City, Story, UEFA Champions League

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Pep Guardiola has said his players remain committed to Manchester City despite the prospect of a Champions League ban hanging over the club.

City have been hit with a two-year ban from Europe by UEFA after being found guilty of Financial Fair Play breaches.

The club intend to lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but Guardiola has said the focus of his squad will not be affected.

“I’m completely sure of the commitment of our players,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of the trip to Leicester on Saturday.

“It’s about what they’ve shown for many years, nothing changes, at the end of the season nobody knows what is going to happen. With calm we decide what we want, but for the next three months the commitment will be incredible.”

Guardiola has led City to back-to-back Premier League titles and last season lifted an unprecedented domestic treble. They are still in the hunt for the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Champions League this season and the Catalan said his success at the club should not be overshadowed by UEFA’s case.

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“We cannot change what people think,” he said. “I know how hard we work. I am so proud about how hard we’ve worked all these years.

“No one helped us outside, we did it day by day, game by game.

“This is not finished, it’s not over, we appeal as a club and we see what happens.”

After Saturday’s trip to the King Power Stadium, City face Real Madrid in their Champions League round of 16 first leg and Guardiola had positive news about the fitness of Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Leroy Sane ahead of the game at the Bernabeu.

“All of them are OK, not 100% some of them,” he said. “Silva was smart to come off for the last minutes [against West Ham], Sterling is in the latter stage [of recovery]. He’s getting better.

“Sane is good as well, but of course he needs a little more time after six months out.”

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