Financial Fair Play fine could have knock-on effect for Man City
Manchester City, who are massive odds-on 1/12 favourites to win the Premier League this season, are the first English victims of UEFA’s crackdown on Financial Fair Play, with a reported £50m fine in the offing.
European football’s governing body has toughened up on teams that are not operating within a sustainable fiscal model, and City are facing are number of other punishments. French giants PSG are also set to incur similar penalties.
These include a potential reduction of their Champions League squads from 25 to 21, and a cap on the wage budgets at City and in Paris.
Such sanctions could affect how Manuel Pellegrini deals in the transfer market this summer. A smaller squad to select from could put players off joining the Chilean in Manchester.
City, who are also the 7/4 favourites to win the Premier League next term, need to strengthen the central defence and midfield positions, because English pair Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry are both out of contract, with new deals not on the table.
Skipper Vincent Kompany is currently partnered in the heart of defence by faithful Pellegrini retainer Martin Demichelis, but the Argentine is not a long-term solution in this berth. Young Matija Nastasic has acted as backup, but it is clear they require another experienced option.
Right back may be another area that City require cover in, as the long-serving Micah Richards could leave the Etihad this summer, because his career appears to have stalled. There looks to be no way past Pablo Zabaleta.
In midfield, Jack Rodwell has endured yet another injury-hit campaign, and was linked with a return to former club Everton recently. Fernandinho has been the first-choice partner for Ivorian powerhouse Yaya Toure in this position, with Spaniard Javi Garcia acting as support.
An extra option is essential to cover for Toure, with Porto’s Brazilian-born midfielder Fernando touted as a potential City target.
Pellegrini will want to build on taking the Etihad outfit beyond the first knockout round in the Champions League next term, but Coral have odds of 14/1 on City winning Europe’s elite club competition then.