Report- Pep Guardiola reveals fresh Man City information over UEFA ban | Football | Sport

By
Updated: December 8, 2018
Pep Guardiola reveals fresh Man City information over UEFA ban | Football | Sport

The City manager said senior figures at the club have assured him there is little danger of them being booted out of next season’s tournament.

Asked whether he feared missing out, Guardiola was unequivocal. “We will not be banned, no,” he said. “That’s what I think because I trust in my chairman, with my CEO, what they have explained to me. I trust in them.”

The Premier League champions maintain internal emails suggesting its Abu Dhabi owners pumped money into the club under the auspices of fake sponsorship deals – alleged by German online magazine Der Spiegel in the Football Leaks expose – were obtained illegally.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said this week that the evidence presented was a “concrete case” of circumventing FFP rules.

Yet City remain confident European football’s governing body will not reach for the ultimate sanction of banning City given the strong legal challenge the club would mount against them.

Guardiola has insisted all along that City will deal with whatever is coming their way and yesterday said: “If it happens, because Uefa decide that, we will accept it and move forward.”

But if they are found guilty of transgressions when the independent body appointed by UEFA has assessed their case, a transfer embargo appears the more likely sanction.

Guardiola takes his unbeaten side to Stamford Bridge for tonight’s evening kick-off against Chelsea missing Sergio Aguero after the striker continues to struggle with an abductor strain.

That could mean a more central role for Raheem Sterling if Gabriel Jesus, who has just one goal in the Premier League this season, makes way for a three-man front line of Leroy Sane, Riyad Mahrez and Sterling.

“Raheem can play in many many positions, three up front, can play no 10, his versatility he moves well in the three sides [of the front line]. I prefer where he plays like a winger,” said the City boss.

“But the answer is he can play in all positions. I am not going to tell you the position he will play but of course he can play a few minutes in the striker as well as the left and right.”

Guardiola continues to be without former Chelsea player Kevin De Bruyne but the City boss said his star midfielder is closing in on a comeback into his first team squad.

“I think he will come back and train with the team soon, one week or less than one week,” he said. “After that we will see if he will be fit. To have another player in this period with so many games is so important.”