Man City have been rocked by the two-year ban handed to them by UEFA from all European competitions after being found guilty of overstating their sponsorship revenue. Since that announcement, many have begun wondering whether the club’s biggest names will jump ship due to the lack of Champions League football, from the star players to Pep Guardiola.
However, according to the Daily Mail, the Citizens are confident this won’t happen. The higher-ups at the Etihad Stadium firmly believe that both the manager and the players will remain committed despite the possibility of a lack of European football – the Premier League giants have appeal this ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The squad gathered for training on Saturday for their upcoming game against West Ham and Pep talked to the players about this issue ahead of the weekend session. The Spanish tactician’s message was simple: stay focused for next week’s clash with Real Madrid.
One star player has already publicly pledged his allegiance to the club despite the chaos. That man is Raheem Sterling. The Englishman has been linked with a move away from Manchester, with Los Blancos reportedly being interested in his services, but his agent insisted that the attacker will not have his head turned by the rumors.
“Raheem is solely focused on Manchester City and will not be distracted by any talk of transfers at the moment,” Aidy Ward, Sterling’s representative, said.
Guardiola has also heavily been linked with a move but has stated on numerous occasions that he has no intention of leaving and is reportedly set to honor his contract. Another boost is that several of their first-team players are tied down with lengthy contracts, with Aguero, Sane, and Fernandinho being the only ones heading into the final year of their deals this summer.
With Man City lodging an appeal against this ban to the CAS, a lot of uncertainty lingers. Should the ruling be overturned, the English giants can go along as before. While the Abu Dhabi-owned side could face points deduction by the Premier League, their biggest concern is European football, as their absence could derail Pep’s plans to strengthen his squad and make four signings this summer.