- Lionel Messi jokingly tells Barcelona to sign all Manchester City stars
- The Premier League club has been handed a two-season Champions League ban by UEFA
- They were found guilty of breaching UEFA Financial Fair play rule
- City have filed an appeal hoping to have their punishment overturn at the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has 'jokingly' hinted that Barcelona could sign Manchester City players should their Champions League ban stands.
The Citizens have been handed a two-year ban after being found guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play rule - Uefa’s financial rules and regulations.
In addition, the Premier League defending champions have been slammed with £25 million fine, but the Etihad Stadium outfit has filed has appealed the punishment.
The outcome of City's appeal might force the FFP to look into other clubs spending heavily on player recruitment and remuneration.
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Express UK reports that the ban might lead to an exodus of senior players at the Etihad Stadium at the end of this campaign.
Meanwhile, Messi was asked if the Catalans could make a move for fellow countryman Sergio Aguero, he joked: “What do you want? Sign them all? (laughs)”
“I do not know, but if the City does not enter the Champions League there are many players who may look for an exit or perhaps not.
“The Champions League is very pretty but two years without playing it can be screwed.”
City are through to the last-16 of the Champions League this season where they take on Real Madrid next week.
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And Messi sees their La Liga side as one of Barcelona’s closest challenger for the trophy. “All are complicated and difficult,” the 32-year-old said of the remaining teams in the tournament.
“Paris went to play Dortmund and lost, Liverpool went to the Atletico field and lost. “But I think, like that and everything, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris and Madrid are the strongest today.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that Pep Guardiola has told his players at Manchester City players he will not leave the club even if the Citizens should get demoted to the lower division.
The Spaniard gave his assurances a few days after his club was banned for two seasons from Champions League in which the club is planning to appeal.
Since the Etihad club were banned by UEFA, there have been reports that gaffer Pep Guardiola could be leaving the side at the end of the ongoing Premier League season.
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