The news that Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons has sent shockwaves through the football fraternity, and it could have far-reaching consequences for the club.
City are still in this season’s Champions League and have as much chance as any other team left in the competition in terms of winning it.
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However, the pressure now on Pep Guardiola’s shoulders to deliver the trophy this season can’t be understated.
Should City be unsuccessful in their attempt to conquer Europe for the first time ever in this competition – they did win the European Cup Winners Cup back in 1969/70 – then it could see a mass exodus of players. And the manager.
The Telegraph state that Guardiola ‘will evaluate his position once City’s predicament around their UEFA ban becomes clearer.’
Whilst the Catalan has given no indication that he will leave, regardless of any outcome, it would be remiss of the club not to at least consider their options in that regard, and The Telegraph have noted a surprise contender to be his replacement.
Former Liverpool manager, and now Leicester City’s man at the helm, Brendan Rodgers, is, apparently, in the running, along with Mauricio Pochettino.
Both managers mentioned have overseen teams that play attractive football, a pre-requisite for the powers-that-be at the Etihad.
Rodgers, perhaps, even has the edge, given his trophy-laden time in Scotland with Celtic, and the way in which he has transformed a struggling Foxes side into almost certain Champions League qualifiers for next season’s showpiece.