Kevin de Bruyne says he would consider staying at Manchester City for a season even if their ban from UEFA competition is upheld, reports the Manchester Evening News.
The Manchester club were given a two-year ban by UEFA in February for breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.
The club’s appeal has already been submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and City remain confident the decision will be overturned. A more likely outcome however would be a reduction of the ban, which could still be enough to keep key players on board.
De Bruyne no doubt - as well as some of his City team-mates - has ambitions to win the Champions League, and fans are understandably concerned he and others could seek to depart should City remain ineligible to play in the competition.
Speaking to HLN De Bruyne indicated a two-year absence from Europe could see him seek a move, although an absence of one year from European competition, might be ok.
“I’m just waiting. The club has told us that they are going to appeal and that they are almost one hundred percent sure they are right. That’s why I’m waiting to see what will happen. I trust my team,” De Bruyne said.
“Once the statement is made, I will review everything. Two years would be long, in the case of one year I might see.”
The Belgian didn’t wish to be drawn on the prospect of joining the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, instead choosing to reaffirm his happiness at The Etihad.
“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 competitive 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.”
City fans will welcome De Bruyne’s comments, but must still harbour fears over the potential upholding of the ban, which would lead to at least one key player seeking a new challenge probably abroad.