Man City poised to learn Champions League fate amid UEFA ban appeal

Manchester City will learn this morning if they must spend the next two years in Champions League exile.

But Pep Guardiola has warned the teams hunting fifth place that he has been sleeping easy ahead of the decision.

The outcome of City’s appeal against their European ban, imposed by UEFA for the club breaking financial fair play rules, will be announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

City are confident they will be exonerated and have the suspension overturned, meaning they will be free to continue playing in the Champions League from next season.

But if the ban is upheld or even reduced to a one-year suspension, it could lead to a mass summer exodus of City stars, unable to accept being omitted from football’s European elite.

After seeing his side beat Brighton 5-0 on Saturday, Guardiola said: “I am going to sleep because I cannot do anything.

“I am confident in the club, I know the arguments, the defence they have and in the next season we are going to be in the place where we won on the pitch this season.

“I know there are many teams in the Premier League waiting too – but we are going to wait for what is happening on Monday.”

UEFA’s club financial control body imposed the ban on February 14 after ruling City had committed “serious breaches” of the organisation’s financial fair play rules between 2012-16.

City launched an appeal, claiming the investigation was flawed because it was not independent and that alleged leaks to the media during the process had undermined its credibility.

Although Kevin De Bruyne has indicated he will stay, even if the appeal fails, Real Madrid will look to target Raheem Sterling, should the ban be upheld while Riyad Mahrez may go.

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