Manchester City Q & A: James Milner? Micah Richards? Cesc Fabregas? How would Manchester City cope with Uefa squad limits?

City risk Champions League expulsion if they tackle Uefa over FFP
  • @ianherbs

New deal for James Milner?

With four fewer foreign players, the obligatory home-grown component of eight in the 21-man Champions League squad becomes more important. With four of this season’s eight possibly leaving, James Milner becomes a far more significant part of the picture at City. He has a year left on his contract and his negotiating position has now become stronger. The same goes for Jack Rodwell.

Keep Micah Richards?

City may also need to think again about whether to allow English players to leave this summer to be replaced with foreigners. They are on course to have 16 foreign players next season – 19 if they bring in Fernando, Eliaquim Mangala and Bacary Sagna, making it difficult to accommodate all their big names. Keeping Micah Richards seems a more attractive option. Joleon Lescott and Scott Sinclair seem likely to go, however.

Bring back Rekik and Co?

The need for a stronger English component could lead to some of the young, home-grown players they have out on loan coming back. The best is Karim Rekik, who has said that he wants 20 games for City next season, having been out at PSV Eindhoven this season. Marcos Lopes and Emyr Huws, from Patrick Vieira’s Elite Development Squad, as well as John Guidetti, seem more important now.

Rethink transfer targets – to include Cesc Fabregas?

This summer’s prime objective is to bolster their defence. But while Cardiff City’s Steven Caulker is not currently on their radar, despite suggestions to the contrary, the situation City find themselves in make Cesc Fabregas, in whom they have an interest, more of an attractive proposition because he was a home-grown player at Arsenal. The highly-rated Paul Pogba of Juventus is also in the same category – home-grown at Manchester United.

Stick to prudent wages?

City will not be in a position to splurge wages and that may be a factor in the transfer window – though that has been the case for some time. The new players signed last summer were in the £70,000- to £80,000-a-week basic pay bracket, with contracts now heavily incentivised as City move beyond the “accelerated growth” period when they agreed to pay players like Yaya Touré £220,000-a-week. When David Silva’s contract was renegotiated a year ago, his basic was in a bracket that would have been considered second-grade in the days of big spending.