Jose Mourinho appeared to take aim at Pep Guardiola and Manchester City over their Financial Fair Play (FFP) dispute as he bristled at a question regarding his Tottenham team selection.

Mourinho oversaw Spurs' 3-1 win at Newcastle United on Wednesday, with Harry Kane on the scoresheet twice – passing 200 club career goals – as the London outfit boosted their hopes of European qualification.

But even after victory – Mourinho's first in the Premier League at St James' Park – the head coach's focus did not seem to stray far from the result of City's appeal this week.

Guardiola's side were initially banned from European competition for two years by UEFA but successfully appealed against that punishment at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Mourinho called the outcome "a disgraceful decision" and again made reference to FFP following the game on Tyneside, going slightly off piste as he discussed his line-up.

Asked about Steven Bergwijn's role as a substitute, Mourinho replied: "You do this question to me but not to [Frank] Lampard, to [Jurgen] Klopp, to Pep.

"Lampard plays [Christian] Pulisic, you don't ask him why he doesn't start [Callum] Hudson-Odoi. Pep leaves Bernardo on bench, you don't ask why he doesn't start Bernardo Silva.

"I'm the only guy who doesn't have the right to play certain players. If Bergwijn started, you'd be asking me why Lucas [Moura] didn't start.

"You don't ask [Wolves boss] Nuno [Espirito Santo] why he leaves [Adama] Traore on the bench. [Bergwijn] is a team player, he plays for Tottenham."

It was put to Mourinho that he would be pleased by Bergwijn's impact from the bench, prompting his reply: "It is credibility for the players and for the group.

"We need good players and more than 11. We need a good group of players. And if we can do that without breaking FFP, we'll do even better."

Mourinho was cheerier as he discussed the end of his St James' Park hoodoo, halting a run of seven games as a visiting manager in the league without victory.

"It's special for us as we needed these three points," he said. "For me, it's a good feeling.

"I'm very happy for the team and finally I can leave the stadium and look at the statue of [former mentor] Bobby Robson and smile at him."

David Silva produced a decisive display in Manchester City's 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday, leaving Pep Guardiola in awe of the departing playmaker.

Silva, 34, joined City in 2010 and has gone on to enjoy a wonderful career in Manchester, winning 11 major trophies and establishing himself as a club icon.

The veteran midfielder looks set to depart at the end of the season, with a return to Spain likely as he winds down his glittering career.

But on Wednesday he provided another reminder that his days at the top are by no means over, as he scored with a wonderful free-kick, before then setting up Gabriel Jesus.

It was an unconvincing win, but Guardiola was thrilled with Silva.

"He is in an incredible performance, he is one of the guys who came back from lockdown in an incredible position," Guardiola told Sky Sports.

"He's in an incredible condition right now, incredible condition, and the way he is playing is really good.

"His mentality with and without the ball, scoring goals – it's his second in a row with the free-kick. He's really, really well."

When Silva initially joined from Valencia, there were certainly some doubts over whether the technical midfielder could adapt to the Premier League.

But he resoundingly disproved his doubters, and Guardiola hopes he gets to see out the final years of his career in a place of his choosing.

"All the people think about it with this situation, to come here and play in this league it will not be easy, but it shows the mentality of David, he has [it], so the reality was like this," Guardiola continued.

"He decided to go, so hopefully he can find the place where he wants to play his last years."

David Silva and Gabriel Jesus did the damage as Manchester City earned an unconvincing 2-1 home win over Bournemouth on Wednesday, nudging their visitors closer to the brink.

Eddie Howe's Cherries went into the contest on the back of a shock 4-1 win over Champions League hopefuls Leicester City, but they had no such joy in Manchester, with Silva providing another reminder of his class as his Premier League career winds to its conclusion.

The Spanish midfielder opened the scoring with a wonderful free-kick and then found Jesus for City's excellent second, but in the intervening period Bournemouth were twice unfortunate not to net themselves.

Joshua King then strayed agonisingly offside while scoring a second-half goal the visitors had chalked off, before David Brooks did net legally two minutes from time.

But it was too little, too late, as City clung on at the end as Bournemouth remained three points adrift of safety.

Although Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling dropped to the bench, City began with great intent and took just six minutes to open the scoring – Silva bending a free-kick around the wall and in from 25 yards.

Bournemouth responded excellently, however.

Junior Stanislas went close with a free-kick of his own just past the half-hour mark, as Ederson tipped it on to the post and then got lucky as the ball struck his head and went out for a corner.

Dominic Solanke then saw a close-range effort crucially deflected just over by Nicolas Otamendi, and City capitalised in the 39th minute, Jesus finding the bottom-right corner after a wonderful slaloming run.

Bournemouth were unfortunate again with an hour played – King turned Stanislas' shot in from close range, but a VAR review showed the Norwegian was marginally offside.

City had another escape soon after, with Dan Gosling's effort blocked by Ilkay Gundogan after Ederson had fumbled a cross.

Ederson's clean sheet was wiped out in the 88th minute, with Callum Wilson squaring to Brooks for an easy finish on the break, but City managed to hold on in the face of intense late pressure.


What does it mean? A hint of hope remains for Bournemouth

Even after their remarkable win over Leicester, this was never going to be a realistic chance for three points, given the obvious gulf between the two sides.

In any other scenario, this loss would have essentially doomed Bournemouth, but they can take solace in the fact that at least one of Watford and West Ham – the two teams directly above them on 34 points – will drop points on Friday as they face each other at London Stadium.

Silva stands out

It was hardly a vintage performance from City, but Silva was his usual classy self, opening the scoring in style, before releasing Jesus for his goal with a well-weighted pass.

Big shoes to Phil

Phil Foden is expected to be Silva's so-called heir at City, and while there is no doubt he is a fine talent, he was a little quiet in this game. He did eventually come to life towards the end, setting up half-time substitute Sterling for a chance before then going close himself, but on the whole he was somewhat disappointing.

What's next?

City turn their attentions to the FA Cup now, as they prepare to face Arsenal at Wembley in Saturday's semi-final clash, before going to Watford in the league three days later. Bournemouth's faltering fight against relegation resumes with the visit of Southampton on Sunday.

Paulo Dybala is set to become Juventus' second highest paid player, while Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly targeting Marcus Rashford.

Dybala was linked with a move away from the Serie A club last year, but ended up staying and is enjoying a fine season in Turin.

Now, the Argentina international is set to be rewarded.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA TO BECOME JUVE'S SECOND HIGHEST PAID PLAYER

Coming out of contract in 2022, Dybala is close to extending his contract at Juventus until 2025, according to Tuttosport.

The playmaker will become Juve's second highest paid player behind only star forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dybala has scored 17 goals and provided eight assists in 41 games in all competitions this season.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing a Manchester United forward. The Independent reports PSG have made Rashford their top transfer target.

- Staying in Paris and talk about Neymar's future continues. Mundo Deportivo says Neymar still wants a return to Barcelona, who are reportedly set to raise funds by selling numerous players. Sport says they are prepared to sell Samuel Umtiti amid interest from Lazio, Napoli, Roma and Torino.

- Jan Vertonghen is coming out of contract at Tottenham and appears set to leave the club. The Telegraph reports the defender has emerged as a target for Manchester City.

- Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma's contract expires in 2021. CalcioMercato reports renewing the shot-stopper's deal is becoming a priority for Milan, who are set to extend his contract until 2023.

- Former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, 34, is a free agent after leaving Qatari club Al-Duhail. According to CalcioMercato, Inter are yet to make a strong move for the Croatian amid reported interest.

- As they look to raise funds, Manchester United are open to selling six players. The Telegraph reports Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot are considered dispensable.

Jurgen Klopp was delighted Liverpool finally won the Premier League this season, because he fears any relaxing of spending rules may mark the end of honest competition in football.

The Liverpool manager worries that multi-billionaire club owners could overrun the game if restrictions are eased.

And he argued Monday was "not a good day" after Manchester City succeeded in their appeal against a two-year ban from Europe over alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.

UEFA's FFP policy is facing fresh scrutiny after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in assessing City's challenge to their punishment, determined that "most of the alleged breaches ... were either not established or time-barred".

Former Borussia Dortmund head coach Klopp said: "I'm not worried for Liverpool. I'm really happy we won the championship this year because it will not be easy in future if something changes.

"I like FFP because it gives us a frame. I've no idea how it exactly works but how I understand it, it gives us a frame in which we all have to work and I’m fine with that.

"If that means now we have to change that, then the future will show what it will mean exactly. For the football we know at the moment it was not a good day.

"It was not a day we all should celebrate and say, 'Oh, from now on everyone can spend as much as they want'."

He expressed the worry that any loosening of the limits clubs operate under would mean "there will be people with a lot of money who will be very, very influential".

City strenuously denied wrongdoing throughout as UEFA investigated their finances, while European football's governing body defended the FFP system after the CAS verdict was delivered.

UEFA said FFP had "played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable".

Klopp stressed his opinion was nothing personal against City, the team who will finish second to his Liverpool in the Premier League this season, a reversal on last season's positions.

The CAS ruling may even help Liverpool in their Premier League title defence, because City will not benefit from free midweeks between domestic games.

"I'm happy that City can play Champions League," Klopp said. "I don't want them to lose money or whatever, but if there are rules I think it makes sense that we all stick to it and not only some."

Manchester City's Phil Foden, not Harry Kane, is the best young player Kyle Walker has ever seen.

Foden, 20, is a product of City's academy and has been tipped to be the long-term successor to David Silva in midfield.

A technically gifted playmaker, Foden has made 20 Premier League appearances this season, already seven more than the 13 he made in 2018-19, while three of his six starts have come since football resumed last month after the coronavirus hiatus.

With Silva set to depart at the end of the season, Foden looks poised to take on a more integral role next term, and former Tottenham star Walker is excited to see what the England Under-21 international goes on to achieve.

"The sky is the limit [for Foden]," Walker said. "He is the best youngster I have ever seen.

"That is after playing at Tottenham with the likes of Harry Kane, Ryan Mason, Andros Townsend, Steven Caulker, Harry Winks, who are very, very good players.

"Phil is leaps ahead of them for me, just because his knowledge of the game. I don't know if it is because he is constantly watching David Silva and learning from him, or just his knowledge of the game.

"I think if he just improves on his final ball on assisting and his final decision-making on that, I think that comes with experience. As a player and as a human being, he is top class and I wish him all the best in everything that he does because he deserves it all."

Walker was similarly glowing of Raheem Sterling, applauding his England colleague's work-rate.

The former Liverpool attacker netted a hat-trick in the 5-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, taking him to within one goal of his personal best for a single Premier League season of 18.

"Raz [Sterling] has proved a lot of people wrong," Walker added. "Since I have been training with him he has worked hard, devoted himself to the game and on wanting to become a better player, I think he is getting the rewards now.

"To score lucky goals like he did at the weekend is being in the right place at the right time, and before that would have probably hit his head and gone wide and now it is in the back of the net.

"I think that is a reward for the hard work he has been putting in on a weekly basis in the training sessions."

For all that he expressed delight over the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) quashing his club's two-year ban from UEFA competitions, Pep Guardiola looked ready to fight long, hard and persistently to clear Manchester City's name.

Guardiola addressed reporters on Tuesday, ostensibly to preview Wednesday's Premier League match Bournemouth.

The relegation-threatened Cherries, team news or any of the other usual staples were not on the agenda.

A little over 24 hours earlier, CAS found in City's favour, stating UEFA's allegations of Financial Fair Play breaches were either "not established" or "time-barred" under the governing body's own regulations.

Speaking shortly before Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp said the verdict had amounted to "a bad day for football", while Jose Mourinho branded it "a disgraceful decision".

"All I say, for all their opinions, is I tell Jose and Jurgen it was a good day for football. A really good day," said Guardiola, addressing the other halves of his two most enduring touchline rivalries.

"It was clear what happened. And that's nice.

"I have my long history, I have a lot of respect – not just for the manager of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool but for all the managers I face.

"But I don't expect they are going to defend my club. But I wanted to defend my club, in the good and especially in the bad moments."

By that stage, there could be no doubts over how Guardiola wished to use his latest appointment with the media. It was a relentless and impassioned defence against perceived slights suffered by the Abu Dhabi-owned club.

According to UEFA's most recent Club Licensing Benchmarking Report, City's 2018 net spend of €282million was the highest on record for any club, while their total squad cost of €971m ranked as the most expensive in history.

The 2018-19 domestic treble winners have been a transformed force in English football since their 2008 takeover, winning six of the past eight major English honours on offer, but Guardiola contended heavy spending has always been a factor for the most successful teams in the sport.

"A lot of clubs invest. When [Manchester] United and Arsenal won the leagues in the period before, they invested more money than the other ones," he said.

"When Chelsea started to win Premier Leagues, they invested more money than the other ones.

"I'm a good manager, but I don't win titles if I don't have good players and good players are expensive.

"All the clubs spend a lot of money – Barcelona spend a lot of money, Real Madrid spend a lot of money, the English teams spend a lot of money.

"We built a club in terms of the last decade. To compete with the elite of the Premier League and the Champions League, we needed to invest."

Guardiola also cited the experience of Manchester United being able to put together more substantial financial packages to secure Alexis Sanchez and Harry Maguire at City's expense as evidence his club's means are not limitless.

"We have a lot of money but we wanted Alexis Sanchez. We could not afford him. We wanted Harry Maguire but we could not afford him. We could not pay like United paid," he added.

"We have money but the other clubs have money too. Did we spend more in the last decade than in the past? Yes.

"But 25, 30 years ago, Arsene Wenger – the guy who defends perfectly Financial Fair Play, so, Arsene, you know Manchester City were correct in what we have done – spent a lot of money to be there.

"United with Sir Alex Ferguson spent a lot of money to be there. All the clubs, if you want to be on top. If you don't, it's more difficult."

Aside from arguing for his own achievements in Manchester to be given a fair hearing – "what we won here, guys, was on the pitch" – Guardiola also seemed to be motivated by a genuine affection for the club he joined from Bayern Munich in 2016.

"I love this club. I love it because I know the people here have been working for a long time," he added.

"We have our history. I don't know if it is better or worse – it doesn't matter. It's our history, I love it.

"Manchester City don't have to apologise because the three independent judges decided we have done everything properly.

"It is clear. More than clear is impossible."

Jose Mourinho has likened UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations to VAR after Manchester City successfully appealed a two-year Champions League ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

City were hit with the punishment in February, following an investigation sparked by the Football Leaks revelations of November 2018, with European football's governing body finding the then Premier League champions to have breached FFP rules.

But on Monday, CAS announced City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions and stated the allegations brought by UEFA were either "not established" or "time-barred" under the organisation's own regulations.

City were fined €10million – down from €30m – for failing to co-operate with UEFA's investigation, but for a club of their wealth that has been seen as a slap on the wrist compared to the initial sanction.

Mourinho and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp criticised the decision to overturn City's ban, while the Tottenham boss urged UEFA to scrap FFP, likening its issues to the inconsistencies prevalent with VAR technology.

"My opinion changed because of the decisions that are made," he told reporters when asked if his feelings towards FFP had altered since his days in charge of a free-spending Chelsea. "Consistency is very important for me.

"I cannot understand a penalty that I saw in Juventus-Atalanta, the handball where [Atalanta coach Gian Piero] Gasperini says he only has one alternative, to cut his players' hands. Then the next day, you have other matches where it is not a penalty.

"I like consistency, clarity. I don't like doubts. I like that when a club buys a player or swaps a player. I don't like when I buy a player for £10million, then two weeks later the seller comes to my club with £10m plus one pound. Everyone knows what is going on.

"This is what disturbs me. It's like VAR, my opinion doesn't change. When a few years ago I said I like the concept - I like the concept.

"What I don't like is the interpretation of it. When I say I think FFP should finish, it's not because I don't agree with the basic principals of the FFP, it's because I don't agree with the circus. So let's open the door of the circus, let people enjoy, come in and go out, stay for the clown show. Let people enjoy freely."

But Mourinho did highlight that football without financial regulation will open the door to owners being without reproach, using the example of Newcastle United, who are reportedly the subject of a takeover bid by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium.

"I don't understand the process, I don't know what is going on. I said a club like Newcastle, without FFP, the owner will be free to do what he wants. Without hiding," he said.

Pep Guardiola believes now is not the time to discuss a new contract at Manchester City – although he insists he would have remained at the club had they been demoted to League Two.

That was a fairly outlandish consequence the City manager alluded to, in the event of UEFA's two-season ban for Financial Fair Play breaches being upheld.

But Monday's verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to quash that punishment prompted talk of Guardiola being offered fresh terms to run beyond June 2021.

City still have an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal and a Champions League showdown with Real Madrid on the horizon, while 2020-21 will represent the first time Guardiola has taken charge of a fifth season with one club.

As such, speaking ahead of Wednesday's Premier League match against Bournemouth, he would rather focus upon matters on the pitch – free of the burden of looming UEFA sanctions.

"Nothing has changed my opinion, maybe I will be able to stay here longer," Guardiola said when asked whether he would commit to a contract extension.

"As a club, as an organisation, the people cannot understand how difficult a time it was for all the club, being under suspicion for something we have not done.

"Hopefully people can stop talking about this – or they can go to court and prove it like we have done.

"Now is not the time [to talk about contracts] we have one incredible month ahead of us.

"I have one more year, for a manager it is a long, long time.

"The decisions we thought to do before the sentence were quite similar. I was happy before and now. We have time to talk about this.

"Now is the normal situation like every season, if the situation was uncertain I don't know what would have happened.

"My personal situation was clear. I said a month ago I would stay and it didn't matter if we were in the Champions League, or like a lot of people here in England suggested, League Two.

"I would have stayed here. About the future, we have an incredible four or five weeks ahead of us with the games against Arsenal and Madrid."

Star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne did not express a similar enthusiasm for English football's fourth tier and suggested a two-year European ban would have forced him to consider his City career.

The 29-year-old's agent, Patrick De Koster, said he welcomed the CAS verdict, although talk of a new deal at the Etihad Stadium for De Bruyne – who is contracted until 2023 in any case – might be premature at this stage

"After the CAS verdict, we Facetimed for a moment and Kevin was very happy, very satisfied," De Koster told HBVL.

“If you are banned from the Champions League at that age, you should think again.

"We'll see. He now has a three-year contract in Manchester, is settled with his family and is feeling good. They have also always been very good with him. Moreover, the number of clubs that can pay him [his salary] is not that big.

"He sees participation in the Champions League next season mainly as a bonus. But that decision doesn't mean more to him. It is not the case that we will now sign a new contract in Manchester tomorrow."

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City are owed an apology after Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho criticised the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to lift the club's two-season ban from UEFA competitions.

City were hit with the punishment in February, following an investigation sparked by the Football Leaks revelations of November 2018, with European football's governing body finding the then Premier League champions to have breached Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

On Monday, CAS announced City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions and stated the allegations brought by UEFA were either "not established" or "time-barred" under the organisation's own regulations.

City were fined €10million – down from €30m – for failing to co-operate with UEFA's investigation, a verdict that amounted to a resounding victory in light of what the club stood to lose, and it has not been warmly received by some of Guardiola's Premier League counterparts.

Liverpool boss Klopp described it as being not "a good day for football", while Spurs head coach Mourinho labelled decision to be a disgrace.

Guardiola expressed confidence in the stance of City's board throughout and remained similarly bullish when he addressed a news conference to preview Wednesday's match against relegation-threatened Bournemouth.

"I'm incredibly happy for the decision," he said. "It shows everything that people said about the club was not true. We will defend on the pitch what we won on the pitch.

"Jose and all the managers should know that we were damaged. We should be apologised to because if we did something wrong, we would accept the decision from UEFA because we did something wrong,

"We don't expect Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea or Wolves to defend us, but we have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct and three independent judges said this."

Continuing, Guardiola presented a counterpoint to Klopp's take.

"Today is a good day, yesterday was a good day for football because we play by the same rules as all the clubs in Europe.

"If we had broken Financial Fair Play, we would have been banned, but we had to defend ourselves because we were right.

"We were damaged. People said we were cheating and lying, and the presumption of innocence was not there. When we were proved right, we were incredibly happy because we can defend what we have done on the pitch."

City completed an unprecedented domestic treble last season under a cloud of suspicion created by FIFA, UEFA and Premier League investigations into their internal operations – the latter of which is yet to conclude.

Guardiola would like his team's on-field achievements to be judged on their own merits but does not expect the CAS verdict to serve as a remedy in this regard, claiming "whispering" Premier League rivals continue to sully the perception of his club.

"It would be nice, but I don't think so," he said. "What happened in recent years, how many times people came to our club, whispering about us.

"I would love it to finish and say to these people, if you want to say something, say it face to face.

"Go to the pitch and play on the pitch and after, if they beat us, don't doubt we will shake their hands and congratulate them. But they lost off the pitch. They have to go on the pitch and try to beat us, like the sportsmen that we are.

"Guys accept it, we want to be here and we tried on the pitch. If you do not agree, knock on the door and speak to our chairman and our CEO and talk.

"Don't go behind whispering, seven, eight, nine clubs doing this. Go and do it on the pitch. Let's go."

A fired-up Guardiola also had a response for LaLiga chief Javier Tebas, who questioned whether the widely respected CAS was an appropriate body to rule on such matters.

"He's another one, Senor Tebas must be so jealous of English football," he added, before applying some heavy sarcasm.

"He's an incredible legal expert from what I see. Maybe next time I'll ask them which court and judges we have to go to.

"He has to be worried and concerned about LaLiga and focus on there, but normally when the sentence is good for him it is perfect - it happens many times in Spain - but when it is against, the problem is for the other ones.

"We will be in the Champions League next season, Senor Tebas, because what we did, we did it properly."

Jose Mourinho blasted the decision to overturn Manchester City's ban from the Champions League as "disgraceful", and one that will mark the end of Financial Fair Play (FFP).

City were banned from UEFA competitions for the next two seasons and fined €30million having been accused of committing "serious breaches" of UEFA's club licensing and FFP regulations.

The Premier League club consistently denied wrongdoing and appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which on Monday ruled in their favour.

City must now only pay a fine of €10million for failure to assist UEFA adequately in its investigations.

At his pre-match media conference ahead of Tottenham's league clash with Newcastle United, Spurs boss Mourinho said: "It's a disgraceful decision.

"Because if Man City are not guilty, I think to be punished with millions is a disgrace. If you are not guilty, you are not punished.

"If they are guilty, they should be banned. In any case, the decision is a disaster.

"If you are not guilty, you should not pay. I am not saying Man City is not guilty.

"I know money for them is easy, but it's a principle. Even a pound. Why are you paying eight, nine million? It is a disgrace.

"My criticism is not to Man City; I am not to know if they are guilty. My criticism is towards those in power.

"Maybe they are unlucky because they don't deserve to be punished."

Asked if the decision spelled the end for FPP, Mourinho replied: "Yes."

Spurs, having lost their last-16 tie to RB Leipzig this season, look set to miss out on qualification for next season's Champions League. They trail fourth-place Leicester City by seven points with three games to go.

Mikel Arteta is glad his former club Manchester City will be able to compete in the Champions League.

Arsenal boss Arteta, who served as Pep Guardiola's number two at the Etihad Stadium until last December, was speaking a day after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) quashed City's two-season ban from UEFA competitions.

CAS found City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship contributions and stated the allegations brought by UEFA were either "not established" or "time-barred" under the Financial Fair Play regulations put in place by European football's governing body.

City were fined €10million – down from €30m – for failing to co-operate with UEFA's investigation.

The full written reasons for the verdict will be published by CAS over the coming days, but it has already garnered a mixed response, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claiming the outcome amounted to "not a good day for football".

By contrast, Arteta, whose Arsenal side host the freshly crowned Premier League champions on Wednesday, feels the ruling serves as a moment of vindication for his old employers, who were placed under investigation by UEFA following the Football Leaks revelations of November 2018.

"There is no question about what happened," Arteta told a pre-match news conference.

"They completely deserve to be in [the] Champions League because what they've done on the pitch is unquestionable and the regulators have looked at it and have decided that they haven't done anything wrong.

"So you have the two aspects that are really clear and transparent and they're going to be in Champions League, because they deserve [it] for what they do on the pitch and what they do outside the pitch."

Arsenal are looking to bounce back from a sapping 2-1 north London derby loss at Tottenham, where their capacity to undermine promising positions again reared its head.

Arteta is full of admiration for the job Klopp has undertaken at Liverpool, and noted similarities between the situation the former Borussia Dortmund coach took on when he succeeded Brendan Rodgers in 2015 and his own inheritance at Emirates Stadium.

“What they’ve done is phenomenal," he said. "It took them some time to rebuild the club and a game model that suited the coach, and then they started to recruit a specificity in every position which completely changed the club.

"Many decisions have to be right. How much connection you have to create with your fans to create the full package, and then it’s about the football.

"Certainly it’s something to look at but we have to do it our way with our resources. We are heading to be the best, that is my objective."

A medical update on Arsenal's website suggested Mesut Ozil might be in contention to feature on Merseyside, but Arteta stated the wider circumstances around the former Germany international's first-team exile are unchanged.

"At the moment the situation remains the same," he said, when asked whether Ozil would play again this season.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp feels Manchester City getting their Champions League ban overturned on Monday was not a good day for football.

"I don't think it was a good day for football yesterday, to be honest," he told reporters ahead of his side's match against Arsenal on Wednesday.

"FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams and the competition, so that nobody overspends and have to make sure the money they want to spend is based on the right sources."

For most of the year, Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter for Barcelona.

Barca are eyeing a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez, though, the coronavirus pandemic appears to have impacted their transfer plans.

However, a blockbuster move could still be on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA STILL WANT TO SIGN LAUTARO

Barcelona remain keen on signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

Barca's interest in Martinez is well documented but a transfer has been put on hold as the LaLiga giants re-assess their plans after the Argentina forward's €111million release clause expired at the start of the month.

However, Barca head coach Quique Setien is reportedly considering three options in his pursuit to recruit Martinez.

Ousmane Dembele could be sold to raise funds or a swap deal involving Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti could be proposed to Inter, while a player plus cash offer including Junior Firpo is the third alternative.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Mirror says Chelsea are ready to swap goalkeepers. Unhappy with the world's most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea are ready to use the Spaniard as a makeweight in a deal to sign Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing in-demand Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai, reports Tuttosport. The Hungary teenager has been heavily linked to Milan and Napoli, as well as Arsenal.

Ajax are hopeful of keeping star goalkeeper Andre Onana for one more season, claims De Telegraaf. Onana has been linked to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barca.

- Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Napoli are confident of reaching an agreement with Lille forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has been tipped to join the Serie A side, who have prepared a five-year contract worth €3.5m per season amid talk of an €80m transfer.

- While Osimhen could arrive, Napoli are set to lose Arkadiusz Milik. Calciomercato claims Italian champions Juventus are interested, while the likes of Atletico, Tottenham and Roma are also keen. Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette is an alternative for Juve, as well as Atletico.

- According to Calciomercato, Edinson Cavani has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. A free agent since leaving PSG, Cavani is reportedly wanted by Roma.

Everton and PSG both want to sign Napoli midfielder Allan, says Calciomercato. Napoli are looking to raise funds.

Manchester City will accelerate their rebuilding plans after having their Champions League ban overturned, claims the Telegraph. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly – also linked to United, Liverpool and Real Madrid previously – is reportedly high on the list of targets, which includes Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Atletico star Saul Niguez.

UEFA could come under public pressure to review its Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations and procedures after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) quashed Manchester City's two-year European ban, according to sports lawyer Rob Jones.

The initial sanction, including a €30million fine, was announced by UEFA in February after it found City guilty of breaching FFP rules between 2012 and 2016. 

UEFA had launched an investigation after a series of articles published by Der Spiegel in November 2018 alleged the Premier League club had artificially inflated sponsorship revenues. 

City took the case to CAS, which found in their favour on Monday. While fined a reduced €10m for failing to co-operate with the investigation, the suspension from European competitions was overturned. 

CAS is yet to publish the full written reasons for its decision but stated most of the alleged breaches were "either not established or time-barred" due to a five-year limit in UEFA's regulations.

While there may be public calls for reform, Jones says any potential review of UEFA's FFP rules and procedures, and their implementation, will depend on the reasons CAS outlines for its decision.

Asked by Stats Perform News how significant the decision is, Jones said: "If it's detailed in the final award that there were procedural irregularities and conduct that UEFA were responsible for that has had a meaningful impact on the decision that has been made by CAS, then UEFA will be under a lot of pressure to make reforms of its procedures.

"I don't think, looking at the media release, that there are ground-breaking, fundamental principles that have been decided as unlawful and affect other sports disputes procedures.

"But the final award may reflect on some procedural issues that UEFA may need to address. And if that is the case then they will be under a lot of pressure - and not that they're not under a lot of pressure anyway at the moment - to reform the FFP regulations. 

"It seems to the general public like the rules don't have teeth … surely the current FFP is not fit for purpose and they'll be under a lot of pressure for a review of it. 

"I know the president of UEFA has been talking about a luxury tax and other sorts of reforms generally. I think they are slightly delayed at the moment because of the pandemic. 

"But certainly there will be a lot of pressure to at least review, if not conduct some minor or more material reforms on their policies and procedures." 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.