Pep Guardiola has no doubt that Manchester City will remain a force after leaving the club.
The city manager has given no indication it will be soon, although speculation over his future is likely to recur until he commits to a new contract.
The 51-year-old former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is in the final year of his current deal at the Etihad Stadium.
There is no alarm about the situation at the club as Guardiola prefers shorter-term contracts and his two previous extensions were signed late.
Yet the time will come when the current champions will have to replace the one who has guided them to nine major trophies, including four Premier League titles, since 2016.
“The club knows exactly what the target is, the next step,” Guardiola said when asked what City’s future might look like without him. “There will be no problem, I am 100% convinced of that.
“They know what the strategy is, what they have to do now, the day after tomorrow, after the World Cup, next season and next season.
“When the club depends on one person, we have problems, because the club is not solid, is not stable.
“The foundations of the club come from a lot and if the club only depends on Pep, it’s because we haven’t done really well during this period.
“If the club was only for one player, for the typical striker who scores a goal, it wouldn’t be a good team.
“I never buy a player, I never sell a player. It’s not my money. It’s the club. ‘Club’ is the most important word and every decision we make thinks about the club – today today, the day after tomorrow and for the future.
“The club knows the exercise very well, the type of players we want to play with me and without me.”
City take on rivals Manchester United on Sunday and Guardiola will face former colleague Erik ten Hag for the first time.
Ten Hag, who coached Bayern second team during Guardiola’s time at the German club, is United’s fourth full-time manager since the Spaniard’s arrival at Manchester.
“I have a lot of admiration for Erik,” Guardiola said. “We know each other a bit because we spent a year (together) in Munich.
“His work in Holland, especially at Ajax in the last period, has been an incredible example across Europe.
“But he knows, I know, everyone knows, it will depend on the results. I’m still here because we’ve won in the past, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.
“Results give you time to build what you want but I have a good opinion of United. If they decide to buy Erik it’s because they believe he’s the man.