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30th Jun 2017

Manchester City could face a transfer ban over signing of young Argentine

City could be banned from signing players for the next two windows

Simon Lloyd

Manchester City could be facing a transfer ban over the signing of an Argentine youngster.

According to the Telegraph, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will meet on Monday to investigate claims from Argentina’s Velez Sarsfield that City acted unethically in their approach for Benjamin Garre.

City have been accused of approaching the player when he was still 15, going against transfer rules by signing him when he turned 16.

Velez made an initial complaint about the matter to FIFA in September. After this was rejected, the decision was made to take City and the world governing body to CAS.

The Argentine club have claimed that FIFA rules allow players under 18 to move between clubs only in European countries. FIFA are believed to have approved the transfer because Garre has an Italian passport.

Bernardo Bertelloni, Velez’s club secretary, claims that the midfielder left Argentina shortly before his 16h birthday and, after spending a few days in Germany, entered England on his 16th birthday. As well as this, he has said that City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, wrote to Velez last June – two weeks before the player turned 16 – to explain that Garre and his parents had decided to join City.

It is expected that Pep Guardiola’s side will be banned from signing players for the next two windows if Velez win the case, although City have denied the suggestions that the threat of such a ban is the reason they are chasing so many transfer targets this summer.

Spanish clubs Real Madird, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have faced similar penalties recently after being found guilty of breaking rules when signing foreign players under the age of 18.

The news comes after City were banned by the Premier League from signing academy players for two years – the second year is suspended – after it became clear that they had made approaches for players registered to other clubs which broke rules.