Manchester City will throw money at strengthening their squad after their European ban was scrapped on Monday.
City’s two-year Champions League suspension for alleged breaches of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules was lifted following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Now the club will head into the close season intent on renegotiating the contracts of a number of their top talents as well as signing between two and four stellar names as they aim to wrestle the Premier League title back from Liverpool.
Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus are among the players in line for new contracts as the club look to nail down the futures of their key men in the coming weeks.
City also plan to discuss the chances of extending manager Pep Guardiola’s contract. The Catalan’s current deal runs out at the end of next season and negotiations would be swift should he want to remain at the helm.
City, who will now tackle the Premier League should their own probe into the club over FFP point to any wrongdoing, also want at least two new defenders, while they are identifying replacements for Sergio Aguero, who wants to return to Argentina soon.
Bayern Munich utility player David Alaba, 28, who has worked with Guardiola, Napoli centre half Kalidou Koulibaly, 29, Valencia winger Ferran Torres, 20, and Inter Milan’s striker Lautaro Martinez, 22, and are all on City’s radar.
Argentine Martinez had been expected to join Barcelona, but that deal is in the balance with the Spanish club struggling to meet his £98.8million release clause given the Covid-19 financial crisis.
Manchester City officials are awaiting an update from the Premier League over their probe regarding FFP, recruitment of academy players and third-party ownership.
Should the Premier League take a similar path to UEFA, City are ready to meet them head on. Sources disclosed that there had been a hardening of the Premier League’s stance towards City in recent weeks. However, that may change after Monday’s CAS announcement.
City spared no expense on top legal representation after UEFA issued the ban in February and hit them with a €30million fine. They were adamant they had done nothing wrong and that hacked emails — which suggested they had inflated sponsorship deals via investment from their owners to circumvent FFP rules — had been taken out of context.