It’s the news that all Manchester City supporters will have been dreading. Star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is ‘waiting to see’ how the club will fare in its appeal over their European ban before committing his future to Eastlands.
The Citizens were left reeling when they received a two-year ban from all European competition in February, after UEFA deemed the Premier League champions to have acted against Financial Fair Play rules.
City are insistent that they have performed no such wrongdoing, and the club’s hierarchy is confident that the decision will be overturned upon appeal.
But the world’s eyes have begun to scrutinise the futures of their top stars, with the likes of Sergio Aguero and even coach Pep Guardiola linked with departures from the Etihad as a result of their expulsion from the coveted Champions League.
And De Bruyne is the next to be thrust under the microscope, after the Belgium international admitted he will consider his future at the club depending on the success of the appeal, stating that ‘two years (without European football) would be a long time,’ as quoted by HLN.
“The club has told us that they are going to appeal and that they are almost 100 per cent sure they are in the right,” De Bruyne explained. “That’s why I’m waiting to see what will happen.
“I trust my team. Once the statement is made, I will review everything. Two years (without European football) would be a long time. If it is one year I might see.”
De Bruyne’s willingness to discuss a possible departure from City will come as a great concern to the club, who know their midfield maestro would attract huge interest from Europe’s elite sides.
But the 28-year-old was quick to dispel any rumours suggesting he is desperate to leave the Manchester club, confessing he is ‘very happy’ to be playing for ‘one of the best teams in the world’.
“In recent years, and before then too, there have been many teams who have enquired and may have asked about me. But to be honest, I’m very happy with City,” De Bruyne stated.
“I play for one of the best teams in the world, I play in England – in my view the best competition – and I like that. It remains a challenge to be the best and I need that too.”
So it seems De Bruyne is in no great rush to leave City just yet – but the player of the season so far has sown a seed of doubt in the club’s mind.
These are testing times for the Citizens.