Manchester City have been cleared to launch a huge summer spending spree after UEFA confirmed that Financial Fair Play restrictions on the club are being lifted.
City’s transfer budget was capped at £49 million last summer and their Champions League squad cut to 21 players for breaking FFP regulations, but the news from UEFA on Friday has left City fans giddy at the prospect of the stars that will be arriving the Etihad Stadium this summer.
City’s top three summer transfer targets are reportedly Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Paul Pogba, and the trio will cost City at least £150 million just in transfer fees.
City have already had a second bid of £40m for Sterling turned down by Liverpool and that Barcelona’s interest in Pail Pogba means it will cost City at least £80m to pry him away from Juventus. De Bruyne, who is set to hold talks over his future with Wolfsburg next week, and would command a transfer fee in excess of £40m.
City are also understood to have stepped up their interest in signing England midfielder Fabian Delph from Aston Villa for £8m, having already agreed a £2m fee with Bursaspor for Turkey striker Enes Unal.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak last month promised a major investment in the squad this summer after City were held back by the FFP punishment. The Champions League cap forced Pellegrini to cut Stevan Jovetic from his squad in favour of January signing Wilfried Bony, effectively ending the Montengero star’s career at the Etihad.
Al Mubarak said: ‘We dealt with the pinch last year from Financial Fair Play, whether you agree with it or not. It’s behind us and we are out of it now.
‘I think this year will be an aggressive market. I expect it will be a huge market this summer.
‘I can assure you this squad will be stronger and the team will be more competitive. I am confident and excited about what is coming next year.
‘We want to go to the next level with a squad that has the capability and quality to win the Premier League and compete in and win the Champions League and go all the way in the two cup competitions in England.
‘You will see us in the market bringing high quality individuals to fit in with what we are aspiring to coming in this summer.’