New Leeds United manager Thomas Christiansen
Despite the rather blatant attempts to transform the Champions League into something of a Super League-lite, APOEL Nicosia will still be given the opportunity to fight for a place in Europe’s premiere club competition next season.
APOEL will enter the tournament at the second qualification stage, meaning they could be a rather attractive destination to players aiming to make a step up in their careers.
Players like Caleb Ekuban. Ghanasoccernet claimed earlier this month that the Chievo-owned forward was on APOEL’s radar after plundering an impressive 17 goals in 33 games on loan at Albanian side Partizani Tirana last season.
However, the report adds that APOEL have competition from England – more specifically, from Leeds United.
In a bizarre quirk of fate, the 2017 Cypriot league champions will go head-to-head with Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen, who APOEL sacked at the end of last season despite leading them to the title.
Leeds United fans have been divided by Christiansen's appointment
Therefore, this represents not only an opportunity for the 44-year-old to get revenge on his former club but also a chance for him to show off his negotiating skills to a somewhat sceptic Leeds fanbase.
Ekuban may not be the most high profile or indeed ambitious transfer target, his valuation reportedly set at just shy of £400,000, but encouraging him to turn down the Champions League for the Championship would bode well for Christiansen at Leeds going forward.
After all, it is fair to say Ekuban will not be playing European football at Elland Road in the forseeable future.