Manchester City are set to withdraw from the controversial new Super League, sources have confirmed to Goal.
Sunday's announcement that 12 founding clubs - including City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham from the Premier League as well as clubs from Spain and Italy - were to set up a new breakaway competition was met with widespread criticism.
Angry supporters and fan groups at City dismissed the move with banners placed outside Etihad Stadium, with further protests planned.
Why are City leaving?
Although the club has not yet formally confirmed the news, it is understood that they were concerned by the overwhelming negative reaction to the proposals.
When approached on quitting the Super League, a club spokesman told Goal that they "could not comment for legal reasons".
Goal understands that Chelsea are also set to end their involvement in the controversial breakaway league.
What's been said?
Pep Guardiola was dismissive of the proposal in his press conference ahead of Wednesday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
“It's not sport when there is no relation between effort and success, it's not sport,” he said. “It's not sport if it doesn't matter if you lose. I've said many times I want the best competition as possible. It's not fair if teams fight at the top and cannot qualify.”
The other 14 Premier League clubs reacted angrily to the competition and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened to take action.
How have the players responded?
Kevin De Bruyne posted a comment on social media expressing the importance of competition and calling for a solution.
No other players have spoken out publicly but Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez were among City stars who 'liked' a post from the club's official account in which Guardiola called for the Super League to explain the decision.
Goal understands that there was an emergency meeting of Premier League captains which was likely to include De Bruyne.
By Jonathan Smith
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