Splash the money! Manchester City would spend a lot after the Champions League ban was squashed with Lautaro Martinez, David Alaba, Ferran Torres and Kalidou Koulibaly on the radar – and Pep Guardiola and a host of stars would sign new contracts
- Manchester City are planning a number of acquisitions to review their squad
- Pep Guardiola has many goals that depended on the CAS outcome
- City’s ban on the Champions League was lifted on Monday morning
- Lautaro Martinez, David Alaba and Kalidou Koulibaly are among the four targets
Manchester city will throw money to strengthen their team after their European ban is lifted on Monday.
City’s two-year suspension in the Champions League for alleged violations of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules was lifted after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Now the club will enter the end of the season to renegotiate the contracts of some of their top talents and sign between two and four great names as they try to wrestle the Premier League title back from Liverpool.
Lautaro Martinez (left) and Kalidou Koulibaly (right) are both interesting for Manchester City
David Alaba worked with Guardiola at Bayern and the pair could be reunited in Manchester
Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus are among the players who are lining up for new contracts as the club plans to look into the future of their key players in the coming weeks.
City also plans to discuss opportunities to renew manager Pep Guardiola’s contract. The current deal from the Catalan is set to expire at the end of next season, and negotiations would be swift if he wanted to remain at the helm.
City, which are now tackling the Premier League when their own investigation of the club over FFP points to a mistake, also want at least two new defenders, while identifying substitutes for Sergio Aguero, who plans to return to Argentina soon.
The club would like to tie star player Kevin De Bruyne to a new deal after the verdict
Bayern Munich utility player David Alaba, 28, who has worked with Guardiola, Napoli center half Kalidou Koulibaly, 29, Valencia winger Ferran Torres, 20, and Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez, 22, and are all on City’s radar.
Argentine Martinez was expected to join Barcelona, but that deal is balanced by the Spanish club struggling to meet its £ 98.8 million release clause given Covid-19’s financial crisis.
Manchester City officials are waiting for a Premier League update on their investigation of FFP, academy player recruitment and third-party ownership.
Should the Premier League follow a similar path to UEFA, City is ready to meet them directly. Sources have revealed that the Premier League’s attitude towards City has hardened in recent weeks. However, that may change after CAS’s announcement on Monday.
City spared no costs for the best legal representation after UEFA issued the ban in February and fined them € 30 million. They firmly believed that they had done nothing wrong and that hacked emails – suggesting they had boosted sponsorship deals through investments from their owners to get around FFP rules – had been taken out of context.
Valencia starlet Ferran Torres is the other player to be on the club’s radar this summer
With the club’s reputation at stake, money was no problem, insiders said.
In a humiliating blow to UEFA, CAS discovered that City “did not disguise equity financing as sponsorships.” The appeal judge ruled that alleged infringements “had not been established or barred”.
The Premier League says it has no comparable statute of limitations in its rulebook. Whether it has the courage to fight given City’s victory remains to be seen.
The rules are separate and the probe – which has already taken substantial work – continues. UEFA is unlikely to appeal the decision to Swiss federal courts.
News of the result was delivered to Guardiola about an hour before it was published at 9:30 AM. The manager was surrounded by execs. “There was no howling,” said an insider. “This was a silent justification for our practices and position.”
City is under investigation by the Premier League, but Monday’s verdict was a success for the club
The club did not want to be seen as gloating or hostile to UEFA. But there were jubilant scenes among the City Football Academy staff.
City was found not to have cooperated with UEFA’s initial investigation. As a result, their fine was reduced from € 30 million to € 10 million and they were liable for their legal costs.
A UEFA spokesperson said: ‘UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to confirm all the conclusions of the club’s financial control body in this particular case and that many of the alleged infringements by the five-year anniversary period was provided for in the UEFA regulations. ‘