Manchester City could be making huge mistake in letting potential Fernandino replacement go

Manchester City
Fernandinho has shone in defence.

Manchester City's biggest problem if the appeal against their two-year ban from Uefa competition is upheld will be how to cope with the ensuing drop in revenue.

If City’s much-hyped legal team fail to persuade the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the disciplinary measures imposed by Uefa’s Adjudicatory Chamber they will have to find a way of keeping their expensively-assembled squad together under tougher financial conditions.

Firstly, the club’s coffers will miss out on the annual windfall that comes from Uefa itself just for participating in the Champions League. Despite being eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Tottenham Hotspur last season, the club still banked £77.98m in prize money.

If they were to make a run to the final in Istanbul this year and win the competition for the first time in their history, City would bank a similar amount to the £99.92m trousered by Liverpool following their success in 2019.

Assuming an average of £80m per year that would go missing from the Citizens’ earnings for the next two years, plus the loss of gate money that would come with staging no European fixtures, the club would be left with a sizeable hole to fill in order to balance the books and pay the bills.

The biggest bills are of course player wages, which stood at £315.3m in their 2018-19 financial report.

Arguably, not having to pay Champions League bonuses would offset some of that, but there is already some talk that City won’t cut their star names bottom lines to ensure a happy camp.

So what has to give?

Maybe squad depth can be trimmed in some areas or experienced players ditched in favour of talented youngsters.

It may be a bit drastic for a club with Pep Guardiola at the helm to ‘do a Chelsea’, but they have some potential star turns that look ready to explode in the next 12 months.

Take Yangel Herrera for example. The Venezuelan midfielder was snapped up by City for peanuts in January 2017, just a few months before he captained his country’s Under-20 side against England in the FIfa U20 World Cup Final.

Following loan spells at New York City FC, Huesca and Granada, he now looks ready to step into the breach at the Etihad Stadium.

His stats in la Liga are compelling as no other defensive midfielder in Spain’s top flight has won more duels per 90 minutes and he is winning an amazing 68 percent of them.

Fernandinho may be staying for another 12 months but his time will be up soon and City could live to regret allowing Granada a purchase option in the loan deal.