Manchester City will reportedly be banned from making signings in the next two transfer windows by FIFA for breaking rules related to the protection of youth players and third-party ownership.
The club is already being investigated by the Football Association and Premier League for allegations related to youth transfers and financial fair play rules, with the latter also of interest to European governing body UEFA.
That investigation could result in City receiving a Champions League ban.
A transfer ban for the Premier League champions would come less than a month after Chelsea were hit with the same sanction for 29 breaches of FIFA’s regulations on the transfer and status of players.
The London club have already lodged an appeal against that punishment.
FIFA have been investigating City’s international transfers for several years. However, according to The Sun, FIFA believes City have crossed the line in regards to their relationship with FC Nordsjaelland and the Right To Dream academy in Ghana, owned by the Danish side’s president Tom Vernon.
Last year, two players from the academy, Sierra Leone’s George Davies and Ghanaian Dominic Oduro, told Danish media they signed for City and played in youth matches before they turned 18.
Both have since left City – Davies now plays in Latvia and Oduro in the United States – but FIFA has been investigating their time with the English club.
That investigation was broadened later in 2018 when additional Danish reports claimed City had a secret deal with Vernon to have first refusal on the best prospects from Right to Dream.
If true, that would be a breach of the rules preventing third-party ownership, as City could be argued to have undue influence over another club’s players.
Neither Manchester City nor FIFA were available for comment.