Pep Guardiola will reportedly make a decision in the summer in light of Manchester City’s Champions League ban. It could leave Liverpool in an incredible position.
UEFA handed down a two-year Champions League ban to City on Friday after finding them guilty of financial irregularities. They even threw a £25m fine on top of that, per the BBC.
Unsurprisingly, that decision – which City will surely appeal – has thrown up some questions. The biggest arguably being over Pep Guardiola’s future.
The Telegraph quickly reported that the City boss will consider his future in the summer as a result of the ban. It puts an end of his Champions League ambitions, after all – a competition he hasn’t won since 2011.
And so Guardiola, one of the world’s best managers, could leave City and the Premier League in the summer. And if he does, Liverpool are suddenly in an incredible position.
Because there’s little doubt that City represent their greatest threat to dominance. They’ve won the Premier League over the last two years, of course, and are unmatched financially – although, this ban suggests that isn’t entirely straightforward.
Best of the rest
But it’s not just City themselves that have led to this position. They’re also the greatest threat because no one else looks remotely threatening.
The other four members of recent years’ ‘Big Six’ are in a kind of transition. There’s Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal – both sacked and appointed new managers this season.
Chelsea and Manchester United both have unproven bosses, too, while all four look in need of better recruitment. The closest to Liverpool is Chelsea – at 32 points after 25 games.
So there are only two teams in the league with ‘title-winning’ squads. One sits at the top, 22 points clear. The other may lose their key man.
Because Guardiola isn’t just a manager. He’s built a squad and a style at City that is his own – a new manager would need to change things. Possibly drastically.
And so, if Guardiola does make the big decision to leave, Liverpool wouldn’t have an obvious threat any time soon. That’s quite the position to be in.