Pep Guardiola has advised former employers Barcelona "don't talk too loud" about Manchester City's breach of UEFA's financial fair play regulations in response to comments made by president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
City were banned from the UEFA Champions League for two seasons and fined €30 million (£25.1 million) after European football's governing body said the club overstated sponsorship revenue between 2012 and 2016.
Barca chief Bartomeu told reporters on Tuesday that he wanted to "thank UEFA regarding FFP" and praised the organisation for its "fantastic work" in recent years, per Reuters (via ESPN FC).
Guardiola, 49, was asked about those remarks after his side defeated West Ham United 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, and he hinted Barcelona could be found guilty of similar offences, via Sky Sports:
City's press officer attempted to block the journalist's question regarding Bartomeu's comments before Guardiola intervened and replied:
"If they are happy we are suspended, I say to the president of Barcelona, let us appeal.
"The people [at City] right now trust what they have done, so that is what we are going to do. We're going to appeal and maybe it happens, but don't talk too loud, Barcelona.
"That is my advice because everybody is involved sometimes in situations. We are going to appeal and hopefully in the future we can play in the Champions League against Barcelona."
The Catalan coach came through Barcelona's academy as a player and spent 17 years at the Camp Nou, going on to manage the first team in a hugely successful spell between 2008 and 2012.
Bartomeu served as Barcelona's vice-president from July 2010 until January 2014, when he was elected Sandro Rosell's successor in the head role.
City chief executive Ferran Soriano has said the allegations "are simply not true," via Reuters:
.@ManCity’s CEO Ferran Soriano said the allegations of financial wrongdoing made against the club are baseless and politically motivated. The English soccer club has been banned for two seasons for alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules https://t.co/iQDvcCKo41 https://t.co/2n63AxENcx
Guardiola has backed the club's decision to appeal their punishment through the Court of Arbitration for Sport, telling Sky Sports he will "100 per cent" remain at the Etihad provided he isn't sacked:
As things stand, City will be prevented from competing in the Champions League again until the 2022-23 campaign.
The Citizens are set to face 13-time European champions Real Madrid in this term's round of 16 and travel to the Santiago Bernabeu for the first leg on Wednesday.