Man City FFP: Pep Guardiola’s 2023/24 players ranked on their chances of staying post-expulsion

Lewis Oldham
Man City expulsion ranking
Manchester City stars ranked from most to least likely to leave post-expulsion.

The majority of Man City’s Premier League-winning squad would jump ship post-expulsion, so we have ranked their players on the likelihood of them leaving…


But first, a couple of quick disclaimers. The only players included below are those in Pep Guardiolas 20-man Premier League for the 2023/24 season (and one or two notable U21 talents).

Also, do not get upset about the list below, City fans. It’s a light-hearted look at a sensitive situation that may not end up playing out. And if it does, you’ll win even more games than you do currently and will have a load of fun while rising back up the divisions, so what does it matter?

So starting with the bloody obvious, let’s get to the ranking of Manchester City players from most to least likely to leave post-expulsion…


22) Kalvin Phillips
Assuming Man City’s expulsion does come to fruition, it will not occur in time for it to impact this summer’s transfer window.

So a normal Guardiola-influenced window is looming, with a couple of ins and outs likely as the relentless Spaniard looks to refresh his squad.

A few players are on the plank at the Etihad, but none are more likely than Phillips to leave this summer. His miserable loan at West Ham worsened his post-Leeds United nightmare and the reported offering of his services to FC Barcelona would surely have left club chiefs at the Nou Camp in hysterics.


21) Bernardo Silva
The Portugal international has been a slightly better signing for City than Phillips, but he is almost as likely to leave this summer as PSG/Barcelona consider activating his £50m release clause.


20) Erling Haaland
Haaland may be a “League Two player”
, but his meticulously mapped-out career will not include a spell in the fourth tier. He’ll eventually join fellow egocentric star Kylian Mbappe at Real Madrid.


19) Kevin De Bruyne
Another player who could easily end up leaving Man City this summer, Saudi Pro League-linked De Bruyne may depart before Guardiola’s side are expelled. As entertaining as it would be to see the Belgium international reach 100 assists in a season in League Two, such a concept will sadly not be occurring in real life and will have to be reserved for a video game.


18) Josko Gvardiol
Due to Guardiola’s tinkering always finding a way to pay off, the Croatia international has gone from being one of the world’s best centre-backs to one of the world’s best left-backs. That would make him a very attractive asset for rival clubs post-expulsion and the 22-year-old would not waste his best years in the lower divisions.


17) Rodri
Gvardiol is Guardiola’s latest success story, but the defender will have to go some if he’s to top the growth of Rodri, who has emerged as the leading defensive midfielder in the world. The 27-year-old has plenty of mileage still on the clock and Real Madrid would happily take him off of City’s hands if worst came to worst.


16) Jack Grealish
A snub from Gareth Southgate has topped off a frustrating season for the loveable beer hound
, who has been usurped in the Etihad pecking order by Jeremy Doku. A pre-retirement return to Aston Villa feels inevitable even without an expulsion thrown into the mix, so City’s demise would make this a certainty.


15) Ruben Dias
Despite the 27-year-old being pretty faultless in his imperious brilliance in his four seasons at Man City, unlike the majority of their best players, he has managed to swerve exit speculation. Guardiola has grown to have an unhealthy obsession with centre-backs, but the Portugal international is perhaps the best of the bunch and will bugger off to an elite European club if an expulsion becomes a reality.


14) Jeremy Doku
The raw but flashy winger would be kicked from pillar to post in the lower leagues and his impressive debut season at the Etihad sets him up for another major move in the future.


13) John Stones
Stones rightly had his critics earlier in his career but Guardiola has helped the Yorkshireman reach his final form as he’s the perfect defender for the Spaniard’s system. The 30-year-old is not yet close to retirement, but the ex-Barnsley man’s roots are in the Football League and he may be more open to the drop than some of his teammates.


12) Kyle Walker
It’s the same story with fellow Yorkshireman Walker. You would not think he’s 34 given his freakish pace and it would be harsh on Football League wingers if they were made to deal with him. But luckily for them, he has been flirting with the prospect of heading to Saudi Arabia.

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11) Matheus Nunes
Much like Phillips, Nunes barely featured for Man City during his debut season and has proven to be a pretty pointless signing, especially with Rodri’s unrelenting excellence. However, an expulsion would be the only way for the ex-Wolves man to consistently get a game for the champions.


10) Ederson
The Brazil international has seemingly caused a stir at the Etihad by mulling over a Saudi transfer
and of their crop of goalkeepers, he is the most likely to leave post-expulsion. But it would be fun to witness his nerveless approach as a ball-playing goalkeeper boiling the p*ss of inferior opponents a few leagues below.


9) Mateo Kovacic
The midfielder was a no-brainer signing for City when Chelsea foolishly made him available for £25m last summer and he’s become a useful squad player under Guardiola. Aged 30, he’s perhaps slightly more likely to be open to a cushy couple of years in the lower leagues than Nunes.


8) Nathan Ake
Some onlookers felt City were making a rare transfer misstep when they bought Ake for £41m from AFC Bournemouth in 2021, but he has surpassed all expectations at the Etihad. He has a little bit of Football League experience after his early-career loan at Reading.


7) Manuel Akanji
Ake could combine with bargain buy Akanji in the lower leagues as the experienced pair spend the twilight years of their career in physical battles with opponents of much inferior quality.


6) Phil Foden
The England international would be alongside your Haalands and De Bruynes on this last had it not been for the hometown boy element. The best player to ever progress through their academy would add to his hero’s status if he sticks around post-expulsion rather than join Real Madrid. But he’s more likely to give the club he loves the finger in pursuit of more immediate glory.

📣TO THE COMMENTS! How should Man City be punished if they are found guilty of breaching FFP rules? Join the debate here


5) Sergio Gomez
Did anyone else forget that Gomez still played for Man City? Gvardiol’s seamless transition into a left-back has negatively impacted the 23-year-old. He’s yet to prove that he’s up to standard for the Premier League champions, but this would be no such problem in the lower divisions.


4) Stefan Ortega
Ortega was one of five major reasons why Man City won their fourth Premier League title in a row
. Whether it’s at the Etihad or elsewhere, the goalkeeper deserves to be a No.1 and an expulsion could afford him that opportunity.


3) Oscar Bobb
Another reason why City won the Premier League this season
, Bobb is following in Foden’s footsteps as he proves that even with an endless pot of money funding moves for the world’s best, there is nothing quite like #OneOfYourOwn taking all of the plaudits.


2) Rico Lewis
It’s a pick’em for second place between Bobb and Lewis. They would certainly benefit from a few seasons of taking the limelight as the club rose back up the divisions, with City replacing Guardiola with Nigel Clough and thieving Wrexham’s recruitment among the other potential steps en route to their eventual Premier League return.


1) Scott Carson
He’s never f***ing leaving.

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