Man City were rocked by UEFA’s ruling on Friday, and it has reportedly raised question marks about Pep Guardiola’s future at the Etihad.
The reigning Premier League champions have been banned from European competitions for two years and been handed a €30m fine, although they will now launch an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the coming months.
Whether the decision gets overturned or perhaps reduced, it has raised doubts over the future of key figures at Man City, namely Guardiola and the club’s biggest stars.
Perhaps one season out of the Champions League will be manageable for them to convince all to stay, but if they were to be absent for two years, that would surely force some individuals to question their futures and consider a move elsewhere with opportunities to win the competition running out.
Time will tell how the situation plays out, but it’s reported by The Sun that Mauricio Pochettino is now in pole position to be appointed as Guardiola’s successor if the current Man City boss decides to walk away this summer.
It’s added that with Man Utd eyeing the former Tottenham manager as their replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer if they decided that a change was needed at Old Trafford, the fact that City could now be interested in the Argentine tactician could be a major blow for the Red Devils.
Regardless of any potential Champions League ban, the Man City job is arguably one of the most attractive in football given their recent success and resources.
In turn, Pochettino will surely be keen if an opening does present itself, but the entire situation firstly depends on Guardiola’s decision on his own future and whether or not he’ll seek a new challenge elsewhere or remain with City and see them through their absence from Europe.
As for United though, they may well have to start pencilling in alternative options if Solskjaer isn’t able to deliver on their targets this season and sees his job come under threat.