Football

Kevin De Bruyne Hints He Could Leave City If European Ban Upheld

Kevin De Bruyne Hints He Could Leave City If European Ban Upheld

With all the talk in football currently around when the game can be resumed amidst a global pandemic, the topic of Manchester City's Champions League ban has very much been put on the back burner.

The decision from UEFA to hand down a two-year ban from European football was a massive one, with the Premier League club insisting they did nothing wrong. While it is set to to undergo an appeal, it could have major consequences should it be upheld.

Going without Champions League football would be a major blow to their finances and it seems likely that some players could decide to leave, not wanting to spend two years of their prime outside the top competition in club football.

While it had been said that Kevin De Bruyne would remain in Manchester regardless, he now has cast doubts about that.

Speaking to Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws, he hinted that he will have to consider his future if the two-year ban is not lifted.

The club has told us that they will appeal the decision, and they are 100 per cent convinced that they are in the right.

I have confidence in my club: if they are saying it's true, then I believe them. We'll wait and see what happens. Once there's a final decision I will look at it.

Two years [without Champions League football] would be long. One year is something I might be able to cope with.

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Pep Guardiola could be another casualty. His contract expires in 2021, and having already won two Premier League titles, remaining at the club without the challenge of European football would seem unlikely.

However, De Bruyne said that the Spaniard's potential departure would not necessarily be the deciding factor in the decision on his future:

I think Pep has said that he'll stay until the end of next year, whatever happens. I think his contract is running out then.

We'll have to wait, but I'm not going to make a decision based on what he does of course. I have already worked under other managers and when Pep leaves, I have to continue working with someone else.

The last few years a lot of clubs have enquired, and have asked after my future plans, but I'm very happy at Manchester City. I play for one of the best teams in the world, I play in England, in my eyes from a competitive point of view it's the best league.

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Gary Connaughton

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