Guardiola unfazed by threat of transfer ban

By Sports Desk March 15, 2019

Pep Guardiola insists it is business as usual for Manchester City amid speculation that alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches and a subsequent UEFA investigation could result in a transfer ban for the Premier League champions.

UEFA announced last week that its Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) is investigating City following reports from German publication Der Spiegel, which drew upon documents purportedly obtained by whistleblowers Football Leaks.

It was claimed that City topped up multi-million pound sponsorship deals with Abu Dhabi companies in order to circumvent rules around how much money owner Sheikh Mansour could put into the club.

A City statement, in response to the announcement, welcomed the opening of proceedings, hoping to "bring to an end the speculation".

Speaking ahead of City's FA Cup quarter-final with Swansea City on Saturday, Guardiola said there is little he can do about the situation and remains firmly focused on delivering positive results for the club.

"I am not the right guy to talk about what the club says," he said. "They [the owners] don't call me and explain what they are doing.

"I am concerned about what I have to do, I cannot speak every day about this. What is going to happen is going to happen."

When asked if City's squad would be strong enough to withstand a transfer ban, Guardiola responded: "Of course. It is good, it's really good."

City were drawn against Premier League rivals Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday and Guardiola knows his side will have to be at their best to control their potent attacking threat.

"Any team has strong and weak points, the same with us," he explained. "We are strong is some areas and weak in some other ones.

"Never in my life have I said that it would be better [to play Tottenham] in this situation.

"What I want is my players to come back fit after the international break and ready to play.

"I know them [Tottenham] quite well, the different systems they can use, how good they are up front with Son [Heung-min], [Harry] Kane, Dele Alli and [Christian] Eriksen, but if you talk about any other team in the Champions League it would be the same."

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    Rice was the subject of pre-match controversy when old social media posts emerged of him apparently showing support for Irish Republican terrorist group the IRA.

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