Man City allegedly created 'fake' job for young player's father
City have entirely rejected the claims made by the player and his father
Manchester City have been accused of trying to tempt a young player to the club by creating a 'fake' scouting role for his father.
The Athletic have spoken to Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Fernado Almeida and his father who allege that City went to extreme lengths to sign the player when he was a teenager.
Almeida joined City's academy setup in 2011, when he was 14. At the time, he was regarded as one of the most highly rated young talents in world football.
Shortly after his arrival in Manchester, Almeida's father is said to have been given a position as an academy scout. While stories of clubs inventing roles for family members of young players is not unheard of, crucially, in this case, Almeida and his father insist he did not do any work for the role and that it was invented as a way of sending payments to the player's family while he was still under 16.
Whereas City's alleged actions could be viewed as a breach of Premier League regulations at the time, the Premier League declined to comment when asked by The Athletic if they intended to investigate the matter. Should they choose to look into the matter, it is unclear what sanctions could be brought against the club if they were found guilty.
Almeida's father is quoted as saying that while he did attend internal scouting training sessions, he did not do any work to warrant the payments he claims to have received from City.
"The truth is that they paid me but I did not work," he says (in Portuguese). "In truth, they tricked us because I do not speak English. They did arrange for me to take a course in scouting. I went to the classroom on two occasions, to appear there at the course. It was inside Manchester City."
City have strongly denied the allegations, insisting that records remaining from the time show that Almeida Snr. was paid as a casual scout while his son was in the academy, and was reimbursed expenses during that time.
This is not the first time in recent years that similar allegations have been made about City offering similar roles to people closely connected with promising youngsters. In 2018 documents from Football Leaks suggested City employed Jadon Sancho's agent as a scout to mask a £200,000 payment which was linked to the forward's move to the club's academy setup from Watford.