Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola before the Premier League match at Molineux, Wolverhampton. PA Photo. Nick Potts-PA Wire.


Manchester City’s two-year ban from the Champions League could lead Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona, says Rivaldo.

The Blues have been stung by UEFA sanctions after allegedly breaching Financial Fair Play regulations .

An appeal is being readied at the Etihad Stadium, with City adamant that they have done nothing wrong.

It remains to be seen whether they will be cleared, but questions are already being asked of the future of key figures on and off the field.

Guardiola has seen a move mooted , as he is yet to commit to a new contract beyond 2021, but the Catalan has shown no indication that he is looking for a way out.

Rivaldo believes that situation could change if City are prevented from entering the European competition and Barca continue to struggle for consistency under Quique Setien.

The Blaugrana legend told Betfair : “Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for two seasons for failing to comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play rules. City are appealing but the case should be a warning to all clubs that rules must be obeyed.

“If City do miss two years of Champions League football, then it could be a great chance for Pep Guardiola to return to Barcelona next season. But it would depend on club’s performance until the end of the season.

“If Barca win the Champions League this season under Quique Setien and produce a decent finish to the campaign in La Liga, there won’t be any reasons for a managerial change.

“But if the team doesn’t fulfil expectations and disappoints their fans, then perhaps there is a real chance of seeing Guardiola back at the club where he was most successful.


“It’s still too early to seriously consider that possibility and we must wait until the end of this season.

“Will City’s suspension be upheld? Will Barca want to change coach again so soon after Setien took over from Ernesto Valverde? We will have to wait for a little while to find out the answers to these intriguing questions.”

One piece of business that has been completed by Barcelona is an emergency transfer deal for Martin Braithwaite , with the experienced striker snapped up from Leganes.

Questions have been asked of why such moves are allowed to take place outside of the set windows, with the Blaugrana leaving a domestic rival short in an important area of the field, and Rivaldo is struggling understand the logic behind such an agreement.

The Brazilian added: “Martin Braithwaite has joined Barcelona from Leganes, a minor team that is struggling to avoid relegation and which could be seriously harmed by losing the player.

“With all the respect to Braithwate, who looks like he possesses quality, I thought Barca should sign a younger player. If Braitwhaite, who’s 28, has signed for 18m euros he should be a regular starter, trying to replace [Luis] Suarez permanently.

“I didn’t agree with this transfer for a couple reasons: it was made after the deadline and Barcelona could have promoted young players to the senior squad instead.

“Furthermore, the team is improving lately and playing better, so I don’t see reasons to grab an attacker who, again with respect, I doubt could be the player the club needs now.”


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