Manchester City had to endure a big hit when it was made known that UEFA is looking to ban the club from the Champions League for two years. We are yet to see how this saga will unfold and whether Guardiola’s team will actually receive an effective punishment.
How ever this all pans out, though, it’s certain that at least a few players are already looking to move on. Liverpool has established itself as a huge hegemon on the domestic scene and if the access to the top European club competition gets restricted, this is bound to make Pep’s key players re-evaluate their situation.
In this post, I highlight three highly-important pieces that might look to bring their talents elsewhere if they are banned from competing for the Champions League title in the next two seasons.
Ederson Santana de Moraes
The Brazilian has really shot to prominence since he sealed his move to the Etihad. He immediately took the duty of the first-choice keeper and last season saw him string together some brilliant performances which allowed City to clinch the title at the end.
The hype surrounding Ederson has died down lately with the spotlight firmly on Liverpool’s Allison Becker who is also preferred in the national team.
However, Ederson remains a top goalkeeper with a great combination of athleticism and ability on the ball. I’m certain that he feels comfortable at Manchester City but not playing in the Champions League may quickly change that.
There is no shortage of top clubs shopping around for elite goalkeepers and the Brazilian definitely falls in that bracket.
The Argentinian marksman has been a loyal servant to the club and has established himself as one of the top strikers in Premier League history.
He did struggle for game time at the start of Pep’s reign at the Etihad but he fought his way back to being the number one goal-getter at the club and was really hitting top form before European football went into a hiatus.
There’s no need to mince words here. Aguero is a generational talent and his goals record speaks for itself. He has been at City for many successful years but he will be turning 32 this year and still hasn’t won the Champions League.
If the UEFA ban is upheld, it will be very hard for Guardiola and the club executives to convince Aguero to stay as the striker is most definitely seeking to add a UCL medal to his impressive collection of accolades.
Kevin De Bruyne
Without a doubt, De Bruyne is the heartbeat of this Manchester City team. The Belgian is probably the top playmaker in the game right now and his manager knows this very well.
Losing a player of this caliber will be a hard hit for any team and it does seem like De Bruyne is already contemplating his latest move.
In a recent interview, he confirmed that he’s keeping his options open which is bound to stress the City faithful.
However, can you really blame him? He has consistently been one of the top players in the Premier League but I feel like he has never received the recognition he deserves.
This coupled with two years without playing in the Champions League is bound to make the player re-evaluate his position.
The Belgian will be welcomed with open doors at any club and it does feel like the mounting pressure at Manchester City will push him through the exit door sooner rather than later.