Man City given Champions League lift

Manchester City have been more freedom of selection in next season’s Champions League after UEFA slightly relaxed their punishment for breaking Financial Fair Play regulations, says The Daily Star.

Part of the punishment handed down to the Premier League champions for their lavish spending of recent seasons was a reduction in Champions League squad size for the upcoming campaign, from 25 to 21. However, this has now been mitigated by a relaxation of the home-grown players rule, with City only required to name five rather than the usual eight.

This decision will give manager Manuel Pellegrini more freedom of selection in Europe, where he will be able to use more of his recently acquired foreign talent, including potential new signings such as Fernando Reges.

The home-grown players rule caused City problems last season, when in fact they only used 21 players in the Champions League, not having an adequate quantity of qualifying talent.

City were hit with a £49 million fine, have had limits imposed on losses over the next two years, been told their wage bill must not exceed the current level, and have been instructed to “significantly limit” their spending on new players.

However, the club have claimed that the punishment would not affect their planned transfer market activity.

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