Manchester City vs Chelsea: Gary Neville claims City need to win the Champions League sooner rather than later - or risk missing out on it

Neville claims City need to win in Europe before their squad grows too old

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The Independent Online

Manchester City are running out of time to win the Champions League, according to Gary Neville.

The former Manchester United full-back reckons the age of the City squad and the impact of Financial Fair Play mean the chances of success in Europe for Manuel Pellegrini's men are decreasing every season.

City lost their opening game of this season's Champions League 1-0 in Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Neville said: "Two championships in three years marks them out as a great English side who sit alongside the title-winning teams of Arsene Wenger, (Jose) Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson. But just looking at them now, and where they are in their development, I feel this team is in a dangerous position.

 

"Before Wednesday's game I said: 'For this team the time is now.' I looked at the line-up and felt they were growing old together. Football allows that less and less. The fruit is ripe - but you had better eat it quickly, because it's going to go off.

"The value of those players will drop quite sharply in the next 18 months because everyone will know they are going over the edge. People used to say of Ferguson: 'Why has he sold this or that player when he's still performing really well?' Answer: because he knew what was coming.

"There is a trace of that now with City. Their problem, though, is that Financial Fair Play is chasing them down the road. So their option is to sell big now and buy young replacements in the next 12 months.

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City won their second Premier League title last season

"If they wait any longer they will be in trouble on the saleable value of the current players. Another route would be to bring through academy graduates."

PA

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