Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne loves his club, but could leave if their two-year UEFA Champions League ban is upheld.
One year might be another story.
The possible Premier League Player of the Year is on pace to set the single-season record for assists, and has responded well to the relative freedom given by Pep Guardiola.
“I’m just waiting,” De Bruyne told HLN, translated by The Manchester Evening News. “The club has told us that they are going to appeal and that they is almost one hundred percent sure that they are 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 would be long, in the case of one year I might see.”
Obviously he doesn’t rule out staying for both years but the 28-year-old also knows he’s at the peak of his powers and that the all-timers are judged by whether they’ve claimed the UCL.
De Bruyne’s City, it must be noted, is still alive for this year’s Champions League and perhaps having that jewel in his crown might make staying at a banned Man City more palatable.
City leads Real Madrid after one leg of the Round of 16 in a field that doesn’t look to have a prohibitive favorite (although Bayern Munich has been a monster in this season’s tournament).
If City won this season’s campaign, maybe De Bruyne would be more content to focus on trying to be a serial domestic treble winner for a year or two (more). Conversely, maybe he’d consider it job done and look to become one of the few to be the best player on multiple UCL-winning clubs.
We’re sure City would prefer the ban go away and these questions become moot.