Manchester City "could face a transfer ban" because of player signed in 2016
Manchester City are still celebrating their Premier League title victory, but the club could be about to face a transfer headache.
City are waiting to discover if they'll be hit with a transfer ban, according to reports in The Telegraph and The Daily Mail. The club is alleged to have broken the rules when they signed Benjamin Garre. His former club, Velez Sarsfield in Argentina, claim that City approached the player when he was 15 before signing him a few days after he turned 16. The winger joined City in 2016 and is currently part of their youth-team.
Both reports claim that the Premier League champions are "concerned" that the Court of Arbitration for Sport will rule in favour of Velez, with a verdict expected within the next week. If the court sides with the Argentinian club, City could be banned from registering new players for two transfer windows. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have all been subjected to such bans in recent seasons after being found guilty of breaching the rules surrounding the signing of international players under 18.
Both reports claim that City plan to add to their squad this summer. If they are disciplined by CAS, they will most likely appeal and delay the implementation of the ban. They could then use the summer window to stockpile players, as Barcelona did a few seasons ago when hit with a similar sanction.
However, Fifa have backed City and ratified the transfer, upholding their claim that Garre was free to join the club after his 16th birthday because he holds an Italian passport. The Premier League club have argued that they acted within the rules, but Velez took the complaint to CAS and a verdict is expected within the next seven days.