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How Barcelona can benefit from Manchester City's UEFA Champions League ban

Manchester City in Champions League eliminator against Barcelona at the Etihad
Manchester City in Champions League eliminator against Barcelona at the Etihad
ANALYST
Modified 17 Feb 2020
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With the recent news of Manchester City's exclusion from the next 2 editions of the UEFA Champions League, a host of Europe's top clubs will be licking their lips at the prospect of taking advantage of the situation. If the ban is to be upheld, many of City's current stars could push to leave. With City already in trouble due to Financial Fair Play(FFP), plus the fact they will now miss out on the Champions League revenue, they may be forced into, or at least oblige such requests to leave.

How does this benefit Barcelona?

It presents a unique opportunity for Barcelona to take advantage of the chaos at Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has long been linked with moving on from Manchester City, and the fact that they may not be able to compete in the Champions League may be the final nail in the coffin. Barcelona could use this opportunity to lure Guardiola back to Catalonia, a move that would be, no doubt, welcomed by Barcelona fans, given the tumultuous times Barça currently face.

Pep Guardiola has been frustrated in the dug-out this season
Pep Guardiola has been frustrated in the dug-out this season

Barcelona can also strengthen their squad, as well as the manager position, by taking advantage of the crisis at City. Lionel Messi has had to shoulder most of the creative burden at Barcelona for some time now. What better way to alleviate that burden than signing Belgium ace, Kevin De Bruyne. De Bruyne has remarkable 15 assists to his name this season, despite it only being February. De Bruyne's passing style also makes him an ideal fit for the Barcelona system and, if Guardiola were to also return, he could possibly be once again linking up with his current manager.

De Bruyne plays against Barcelona
De Bruyne plays against Barcelona

Another player that should be of interest is City's explosive German winger, Leroy Sané. With Ousmane Dembélé, once again, out long term, it may be time for the Blaugrana to explore other options. Sané presents a far more financially feasible deal than Neymar, especially as his contract is running down and City is facing chaos in the wake of this ban. While the German has been out the entirety of this season through injury, it's worth remembering how impressive Sané was in the 2018-19 season.

Sané demonstrates his pace and strength in the flanks
Sané demonstrates his pace and strength in the flanks

Sané hit a very impressive 10 goals and 15 assists, as City romped to a record-breaking 100 points. With Dembélé injured and Luis Suárez both injured and aging, Sané could be essential to Barça's long term future, especially as it would allow Antoine Griezmann to move centrally. The Frenchman has struggled for this season and Sané's arrival would allow him to move into a more comfortable central role, adding much-needed balance to Barcelona's attack.


Also read | The slow descent of Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona: La Liga 2019-20 

Published 17 Feb 2020, 10:04 IST
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