MANCHESTER, England — Pep Guardiola has ruled out joining Juventus at the end of the season and says he could stay even longer than his current Manchester City contract.
A report on Radio CRC in Italy claimed on Friday that Guardiola had reached a verbal agreement to replace Massimiliano Allegri in the summer, ending the Juventus coach’s five-year spell in charge.
But Guardiola strongly denied the claims and said he will only leave if he is sacked and could stay longer than his current deal that runs until 2021.
“I would say that today the social media influences but I don’t understand it. Why the media for one, why Twitter says something and everybody in the big newspapers say Pep is going for the next four years to Juventus,” he told a news conference after City’s 3-1 victory over Watford.
“I don’t know why the people who say I’m going to Juventus don’t try to call me or my agent or Juventus or Massimo Allegri — I feel so sorry for Allegri.
Manchester City ratings: Sterling 9/10 in three-goal performance
“I have two more years and I’m not going to move, it’s impossible unless if they sack me and after I go home.
“If Manchester City wants me, I will stay here for two more years and hopefully another one. I am not going to Juventus for the next two seasons.”
Earlier, a source had dismissed the claims that Guardiola would move to the Italian champions, telling ESPN FC the rumours were “nonsense.”
In May 2018, Guardiola entered the final 12 months of a three-year deal signed when he joined the club in the summer of 2016 before he agreed new terms and City fully expect the Catalan to remain in charge next season, amid uncertainty over the coach’s position at Juventus.
If Guardiola sees out his contract, he would have spent five years in Manchester, compared to four at Barcelona and three at Bayern Munich.
Speculation in the Italian media over Guardiola comes at a time when City face a four-pronged investigation into alleged wrongdoing at the club. The Premier League have joined FIFA, UEFA and the Football Association in probing the club’s transfer dealings.
Speaking about the latest UEFA investigation on Saturday, Guardiola said he had no concerns his achievements at City would be tainted by the allegations.
“No, absolutely not,” he said.
A UEFA statement published on Thursday confirmed European football’s governing body was launching an investigation into the Premier League champions for an alleged breach of FFP rules. If found guilty, City could face a possible Champions League ban.
A statement from City read: “Manchester City welcomes the opening of a formal UEFA investigation as an opportunity to bring to an end the speculation resulting from the illegal hacking and out of context publication of City emails. The accusation of financial irregularities are entirely false. The Club’s published accounts are full and complete and a matter of legal and regulatory record.”
Allegri, meanwhile, has said there is nothing to read into the fact he has yet to extend his contract beyond 2020, as speculation mounts this could be his last season at Juventus.