Kevin de Bruyne has hinted he would look to leave Manchester City if their two-season European ban stands.
The English champions have received a two-year ban from playing in the Champions League or Europa League following a lengthy investigation from UEFA.
The Belgian admitted that two years out of European competition ‘would be long’ and claimed that if the ban would be reduced to just one season, it would be much more palatable for the players.
That has sparked fears within the City ranks that their star player could be tempted by a move away and alerting a series of top European clubs, with Barcelona and Real Madrid potentially keen on the former Wolfsburg star.
Catalan media outlet Diario Sport wrote to ‘stay tuned’ for developments on the future of the playmaker, who is said to have a transfer market value in the region between €120m and €150m, with El Mundo Deportivo saying Madrid would ‘keep an eye on him’.
Speaking to HLN, De Bruyne explained: “I’m just waiting. The club has told us that they are going to appeal and that they are 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.
“In recent years, and before then too, there have been many teams who have polled and may have asked what I like. But to be honest, I’m very happy with City.
“I play for one of the best teams in the world, play in England – for my view the best competition – and I like that. It remains a challenge to be the best and I need that too. What is coming is coming.
“But it’s not that I’ve tried to leave City in those five years. I have also remained calm for my previous transfers. I have never had any problems and have always waited for my moment. With respect, because I think you get most of it back. Even outside of football.”