Man City’s looming Champions League ban is the motivation behind the club preparing to offer fresh terms to two of their superstars to remove the temptation for them to leave the Etihad.
Following breaches of the Financial Fair Play rules, the Citizens were handed a two-year ban from European competitions, though the club are hopeful of successfully appealing the decision.
If upheld, the possibility of several of Pep Guardiola’s top stars departing in search of Champions League football would be a devastating situation for the club.
Now, according to British newspaper the Daily Mail, City will look to prevent that scenario from occurring for two of their brightest talents by offering them fresh terms after their upcoming round of 16 tie with Real Madrid.
Man City have made a point of tying down their top talents to long-term contracts while still having several years remaining, with Leroy Sane and John Stones their only players under the age of 30 to not have at least three years remaining on their current deals.
Despite a lower than expected goals return this season, Sterling remains a key facet of Guardiola’s frontline, while Belgian De Bruyne’s influence on the team is at an all-time high with David Silva entering the final stages of his City career.
Belgian boss Roberto Martinez is cited as saying the playmaker remains ‘committed to the project at Man City’, while Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward is noted as saying his client ‘will not become distracted by any talk of transfers.’
Meanwhile, a former Man Utd star revealed he persuaded Bruno Fernandes to reject Man City in favour of the Red Devils.
Utd had been linked with Fernandes since the previous summer, and the playmaker finally completed the move halfway through the season.
The 25-year-old has hit the ground running since arriving in England, contributing two goals and two assists in four Premier League appearances so far, as well as one goal in the Europa League.
With one former United player in Paul Scholes already singing his praises, another in Nani has revealed how he played a minor role in persuading his compatriot to join United.