Martinez suggests De Bruyne could leave City because of European ban


Belgium manager Roberto Martinez believes Kevin de Bruyne could consider a fresh challenge away from Manchester City, suppose the club fail to overturn their two-year ban on European club competitions. The Citizens were imposed with the embargo earlier this year after they were deemed to have breached UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

Pep Guardiola’s side are expected to appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport this month but there are suggestions that the ban may not be completely overruled. In such a case, the Citizens may be without Champions League football for the 2020/21 season and Martinez believes De Bruyne could consider his future with the club.

He told BeIN Sports: “Of course if Man City have a ban he will take that into his decision making… Over the years he’s shown that if he’s happy somewhere he likes to stay and win things. I think it’s going to have a major say what happens at the club if there is a ban. What’s going to happen with the manager and what’s going to happen with [any] future project.”

De Bruyne has been in superb form for the Mancunian giants this term and he has registered nine goals and 18 assists from 34 appearances across all competitions. Still, the Citizens have fallen well short in the Premier League title defence and they are currently a staggering 25 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.

The club can’t afford to switch off because of this, considering they are in a position where they can end the season with hat-trick of trophies. The Citizens have already lifted the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa and they are strong favourites to win the FA Cup for the second season running. In terms of the Champions League, they are in a good position to reach the quarter-final stage after the 2-1 comeback win over Real Madrid during the first leg at the Bernabeu.