‘Man Utd kept De Gea & Pogba so City will be fine’ – Wright-Phillips has no Champions League ban fears


Manchester City should not fear summer exits if a Champions League ban is upheld, says Shaun Wright-Phillips, with Manchester United having managed to keep David de Gea and Paul Pogba on their books despite having no elite European football to offer.

Speculation continues to suggest that star turns could seek moves elsewhere if the Blues fail in a bid to get UEFA-imposed sanctions overturned.

As things stand, City are set to be barred from continental competition until 2022.

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The likes of Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne have been linked with transfers as a result, while questions have also been asked of Pep Guardiola’s ongoing presence at the Etihad Stadium.

Wright-Phillips is, however, expecting everyone to stay put, telling PA Sport: “I don’t think a ban means anything for Pep and the top players.

“If it does stand, which I don’t think it will and I feel they are confident it will get overturned, it is the same as any other club.

“Man United have not been in the Champions League for a few years and they have still kept De Gea, players like Pogba, and Manchester City will be able to do the same.”

Manchester City 2018-19 Carabao Cup Raheem Sterling
Manchester City 2018-19 Carabao Cup Raheem Sterling

Success is a useful bargaining tool for any club when it comes to retaining top talent or bringing in even more.

City have dominated the domestic scene in England of late and, while they appear set to surrender the Premier League title to Liverpool, they are chasing down major silverware on three other fronts in 2020.

Another trophy will be up for grabs on Sunday when the Blues face Aston Villa at Wembley, with Wright-Phillips expecting Guardiola to treat that contest seriously as he side seek to complete a hat-trick of Carabao Cup triumphs.

The former City winger said: “I feel like the way Pep manages he wants to win every game and he has a squad depth to be able to do that.

“It would be a great achievement, from the 1980s I think the only other team to do it are Liverpool so to equal that will be a tremendous success.

“Coming off a massive result like that, winning 2-1 at the Bernabeu [against Real Madrid in the Champions League], coming from behind shows the character that is built and instilled in the team.

“I feel they will be ready and pumped to win more silverware.”

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