Guardiola: City squad strong enough to survive potential transfer ban

Pep Guardiola is convinced Manchester City have a strong enough squad to cope if the club are hit with a transfer ban.

Reports have claimed the Premier League champions face a FIFA embargo on signings for two transfer windows.

The world governing body is believed to be investigating the club with regards to the signing of eight players under the age of 18 from overseas and for potential breaches of third-party ownership rules.

Pep Guardiola is confident Manchester City have enough strength in depth (Martin Rickett/PA)
Pep Guardiola is confident Manchester City have enough strength in depth (Martin Rickett/PA)

Premier League rivals Chelsea have already been hit with a transfer ban for breaching FIFA’s regulations on the transfer and status of players.

Asked if City’s squad was good enough to withstand such a sanction, manager Guardiola said: “Of course. It’s good, it’s good, the squad is good, really good.”

FIFA has refused to comment on the status of any investigation.

A spokesperson said: “We have no comment on the matter at this stage. Further updates will be provided by FIFA in due course.”

City’s squad faces a test of its strength on Saturday as the club face Swansea in the FA Cup quarter-finals without a handful of players.

John Stones, Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho, Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne will all miss the trip to the Liberty Stadium.

Centre-back Stones is still troubled by a groin injury, despite being on the bench against Schalke in midweek, and he is also set to miss England’s upcoming matches with the Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference: “We don’t have too many players. John Stones was on the bench but he was not ready to play then, and not even tomorrow. He is still recovering and is not well enough even to play in the national team.

“We don’t have too many options but tomorrow is the cup quarter-finals, to get to the semi-finals. That is the most important thing right now.”

The FIFA issue has been raised just a week after European governing body UEFA opened an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules by City. The Premier League and Football Association also have probes ongoing into the club.

Guardiola was unwilling to speak further on the matters.

What happens is going to happen.

He said: “I cannot say in every conference. I said what I said, I was clear in my opinion. The club made their statement and I don’t have any comments.

“I understand your job but I answered five, six or seven questions last week. I am not even the right guy to talk about that. I’m concerned what I have to do with my job.

“What happens is going to happen.”

- Press Association

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