Manchester City confident they have avoided TWO-window transfer ban

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The Manchester club recently signed 16-year-old winger Benjamin Garre from Argentinian club Velez Sarsfield, who have lodged a formal complaint about City's approach for the player.

Garre was snapped up by City's academy just 10 days after his 16th birthday in the summer of 2016.

The new Premier League champions could have faced a transfer ban if a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) had gone against them.

Garre, who signed his first professional contract with City upon turning 17 a year ago, was really an innocent bystander in all of this, a young footballer trying to make it in the game.

The Citizens signed the player shortly after his 16th birthday although the player's former club Velez Sarsfield complained that the youngster was approached when 15 and therefore that transfer rules had been breached.

Garre was one of three youth players to train with the men's Argentina squad ahead of their friendly with Russian Federation in Moscow last November.

Were Pep Guardiola not able to invest further in his squad for a whole season it would be a major blow to their hopes of retaining the Premier League title and winning the Champions League for the first time in their history.

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There had been serious concern at the opposite outcome and defeat would have left the club staring at an embargo on transfers over two windows.

Barcelona received a 14-month transfer ban in April 2014, with both Federation Internationale de Football Association and CAS rejecting their appeals.

Of some encouragement to City is that Federation Internationale de Football Association ratified the transfer and upheld City's argument that their capture of Garre, who is now playing in their Under 23 side, was not a breach of the regulations because he holds an Italian passport. Indeed they stated they acted within the rules.

Velez, however, claim that Federation Internationale de Football Association rules only allow players under 18 to move between clubs in Europe and do not include South America.

The decision means City have avoided the kind of ban handed out to Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in recent seasons.

Velez took their complaint to Lausanne-based Cas, where the case was heard last summer. The court will publish the reasoned verdict on Friday.

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