Kevin de Bruyne has admitted he is ‘waiting’ for the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal over their Champions League ban, suggesting he could choose to leave the club if it were upheld.
As it stands, Manchester City will not feature in the 2020/21 or 2021/22 editions of the Champions League after they were found guilty of ‘serious breaches’ of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules earlier this year – the club accused of over-inflating the value of their sponsorship deals to circumvent regulations.
The reigning Premier League champions immediately announced their intention to appeal the decision with the Court of Arbitration, though the current global pandemic has caused a backlog, with no date yet set for their hearing.
While City has publically maintained their innocence, Kevin de Bruyne has admitted that the prospect of two years without European football would be hard to accept should the decision be upheld.
“I’m just waiting,” De Bruyne told 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. 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 admitted that his decision would not be dependant on Pep Guardiola’s continued involvement at the club, the Catalan having insisted he will stay at the club regardless of the result of the appeal.
“I think Pep said he will see out the last year [of his contract] anyway no matter what. Then his contract ends. But I’m not going to let my decision depend on what Pep is doing,” De Bruyne added.
“Of course I have already worked with other coaches and when Pep leaves, I have to continue working with someone else. But I haven’t really paid much attention to that for the time being. There are more important things at the moment.”