Manchester City have a much bigger fight on their hands than the Premier League title race right now.
As if watching Liverpool take their place as kings of England wasn't bad enough, their entire short-term future has been thrown into doubt with the news of their two-season ban from UEFA.
Europe's governing body of football has decided that the Citizens will be unable to compete in the Champions League or Europa League until the expiration of the 2021/22 campaign.
City are set to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but could face further punishment from the Premier League in the form of a major fine or possible points deduction.
But if we're going to be pessimistic, then City must prepare themselves for a scenario where some of their best players want to leave in search of Champions League football.
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Man City facing squad exodus
Leroy Sane seems one of the most likely departures having been linked with Bayern Munich last summer, while Sergio Aguero could leave in 2021 at the latest under his current deal.
Raheem Sterling could be looking for ventures new if the Real Madrid reports are to be believed and Kevin De Bruyne might be subject to a bidding war from some of Europe's biggest clubs.
And although leaving a club as powerful as City isn't just a case of wanting to, revered sports lawyer John Mehrzad has some worrying news for those dreading an exodus in Manchester.
Twitter thread on Man City contracts
That's because Mehrzad has sensationally explained that City's European ban could allow any of the club's players to terminate their contracts and make themselves free agents.
It's explained that UK employment law would likely favour the City players whose club 'has acted in a way that has destroyed their ability to play in UEFA Champions League for 2 seasons.'
Seeing as many players will be happy in their mega-money contracts regardless, it's worth taking with a pinch of salt, but you can check out the fascinating Twitter thread in its entirety below.
You can just imagine the domino-effect if one major City player took this course of action.
It's difficult to see many players taking this arduous approach to breaking free from the club, but it's got to be worrying for the Citizens that some of their biggest names even have this option.
What seems more likely is that certain players will become less likely to sign an extension at the club and will let their deals reach its terminus before City return to the European stage.
Either way, City need to accept that UEFA's intervention will prompt players to leave and they'll have to implement plans to mitigate the damage, especially if their transfer powers are restricted.
It just goes to show that money can't buy you everything.News Now - Sport News