Manchester City were handed a two-year Champions League ban in the wake of their Financial Fair Play (FFP) breach. The club was also fined £30 million for the offense. The ban comes with its huge pros and cons. One of the major concerns for City during the past few days has been the future of the club's star players and where the club could be heading after their expulsion from the Champions League.
Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva are some of the world-class players that are currently plying their trade for the Premier League champions but the two-year Champions League ban has certainly brought their future under the scanner with many doubting if the players would want to stay at the club without Champions League football.
Although the club has announced that they are going to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) regarding the ban but the question here is, what could be the outcome of the player's future and how would the ban affect the club's summer transfer plans.
While it's pretty much obvious that some players might want to leave the club if the transfer ban is upheld but to say, that every City player would be leaving the club at the end of this season would be an exaggeration. Pep Guardiola has already assured the fans and media many times that he won't be leaving the club at the end of this season.
"I will stay at the club, I love the club and I would be here even if we drop down to the League 2. We are going appeal and we will see what happens."
At this point, there's a chance that the players would leave but even that doesn't look certain. Manchester City excels in is their relations with the players and fans. There haven't been any Pogba or Bale like situations at City in the past few years, So there's a belief that the players would be loyal and stay even if the ban is upheld.
Pep Guardiola and City's board are reportedly planning a rebuild of a truly great but faltering side. However, now with City given their two-year ban, the club might struggle to bring their priority transfer targets at the Etihad. Players like Lautaro Martinez and Milan Skriniar were high on City's transfer list but the club could struggle to compete for their signature against clubs with Champions League football.
The Cityzens would surely struggle to get their preferred transfer targets but on the flip side, the club has established itself as an attractive destination in the past decade and they would still be able to attract players even without Champions League football. For instance, Arsenal and Manchester United haven't been Champions League regulars for a while now but players still want to join them. Similar would be the case with City because right now they are an established club in English football and players would still see it as an attractive proposition to play for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.