Manchester City: Predicting the next clubs for their first-team stars if they’re forced to sell

  • Rob Swan

Manchester City are in serious trouble and the consequences if their appeal fails are huge.

The reigning Premier League champions have been banned from the Champions League for two seasons and hit with a £25 million fine for “serious breaches” of UEFA’s financial regulations.

This news has led to speculation that City could lose points, be stripped of Premier League titles, be relegated to League Two and lose their star players as well as their revered head coach Pep Guardiola.

The Daily Mail are reporting that players such as Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte may need to be sold if the Court of Arbitration for Sport upholds City’s ban.

But where would their star players end up if the worst was to happen?

We’ve gone through City’s first-team and had a go at guessing where they’d all end up…

Kyle Walker: Tottenham

Is Kyle Walker a better right-back than Serge Aurier? Yes he is. The 29-year-old spent eight years with Spurs, so you’d have to imagine that the north London outfit would be his most likely option if City were forced to sell.

John Stones: Barcelona

Barcelona love a ball-playing defender and 33-year-old Gerard Pique isn’t getting any younger. John Stones plying his trade at the Camp Nou – we’d all love to see it.

Raheem Sterling: Real Madrid

Real Madrid are understood to have a long-standing interest in Raheem Sterling, so this one would be a definite possibility.

Ilkay Gundogan: Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund are usually happy to take back their former stars, as the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Mario Gotze and Nuri Sahin have proven. Ilkay Gundogan was a firm favourite at the Westfalenstadion, so this one makes a lot of sense.

Gabriel Jesus: Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo will probably never retire but Gabriel Jesus could be at Juventus waiting in the wings just in case he does.

Sergio Aguero: Atletico Madrid

Sergio Aguero’s current plan is to spend a few more years at Man City before moving back to Argentina and re-joining his first club, Independiente. However, the 31-year-old still has plenty to offer a top European club at this moment in time and the likes of Atletico and Real Madrid would be at the front of the queue to sign the prolific centre-forward.

Because he’s a loyal guy, we reckon he’d end up back at Atleti, rather than the Bernabeu.

Oleksandr Zinchenko: Wolves

Oleksandr Zinchenko’s potential next club is a particularly tricky one to call. Wolves wanted him back in 2018 and they’re a far more attractive club for a top-level player these days, so this sounds like it would be within the realms of possibility.

Aymeric Laporte: Real Madrid

Aymeric Laporte has cemented his status as one of the Premier League’s best defenders since joining Man City from Athletic Bilbao in 2018. The 25-year-old could be the long-term replacement for Sergio Ramos in the Spanish capital.

Rodrigo: Atletico Madrid

Atletico aren’t enjoying their best season and could certainly do with Rodrigo back in their midfield. The 23-year-old left the Wanda Metropolitano last summer following one impressive season in Diego Simeone’s side.

Kevin De Bruyne: Liverpool

Kevin De Bruyne supported Liverpool as a boy and the Reds would surely jump at the opportunity to sign the Belgian midfielder if the opportunity arose.

Leroy Sane: Bayern Munich

Whether City are forced to sell their stars or not, Leroy Sane will eventually end up at Bayern Munich. It’s inevitable.

Bernardo Silva: PSG

Look, Real Madrid can’t sign all of City’s players, so we’ll go with Paris Saint-Germain as Bernardo Silva’s most likely destination. The brilliant Portuguese midfielder would have the pick of his clubs if City were forced to cash in.

David Silva: Inter Miami

Man City legend David Silva is leaving the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season and is reportedly set to become the face of Inter Miami, David Beckham’s new team.

Benjamin Mendy: Tottenham

Put the social media and injury record to one side and you’re left with a first-class left-back in Benjamin Mendy, who is only 25 and has the potential to be a great signing for any top club.

Fernandinho: Arsenal

Mikel Arteta coached Fernandinho, who developed a close bond with the current Arsenal boss. Arteta would surely be interested in the possibility of bringing him to the Emirates Stadium.

Riyad Mahrez: PSG

Linked with PSG on a couple of occasions in the past, we could certainly imagine Riyad Mahrez playing a similar role the one he does now over at the Parc des Princes.

Joao Cancelo: Atletico Madrid

Potentially bad news for Kieran Trippier. Joao Cancelo would be a quality signing for Atletico Madrid or any other top European club.

Nicolas Otamendi: River Plate

Recent reports claim that Nicolas Otamendi is ‘dying’ to finish his career at River Plate, the club he supported as a boy. As long as River can afford the 32-year-old, this is a move that would almost certainly happen.

Ederson: Chelsea

Chelsea are looking for a new goalkeeper to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga and there wouldn’t be many better options available than Ederson.

Phil Foden: Man Utd

Phil Foden’s dad is apparently a Man Utd fan. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is building a team of hungry, young British players. Foden wouldn’t need to leave Manchester. Put all these things together and what do you get…? A shock move to Old Trafford, obviously.

Remember, there’s a chance that City’s appeal will be successful. There’s also a chance that their ban will be reduced.

But if their punishment is unchanged following the appeal, we could end up seeing some extremely interesting activity when the transfer window re-opens.

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