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Man City forced to change transfer plans because of UEFA's Champions League rules

Manchester City have been forced into a transfer window rethink after Girona’s shock qualification for the Champions League. Girona – who are partly owned by the City Football Group – secured a top-four finish in La Liga with a 4-2 win over Barcelona last weekend.

The Premier League champions will have to cancel plans to send talented youngster Claudio Echeverri, who they recently signed, out on loan in January 2025. The teenager, who is currently lighting up the Argentine league for River Plate, was expected to join Girona, on a short-term deal from City.

However, City – who splashed £12.5million on Echeverri’s signature – will have to source a new destination, as UEFA rules state Champions League clubs with the same owners cannot agree to loan deals. Echeverri could still find himself in a Girona shirt next season, if either City or the La Liga outfit are knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage.

Watch all the Premier League and Champions League drama unfold on TNT Sports

But, it’s reported by the Daily Mirror that the Blues aren’t willing to take any chances, with talks having started with other Spanish clubs about a potential loan deal. It’s mooted that City have held talks with Real Sociedad, Real Betis and Las Palmas about Echeverri joining when he moves across to Europe at the start of next year.

Echeverri caught the eye in South America with his performances for River Plate, who are currently managed by ex-City star Martin Demichelis. The defender is said to have played a part in Echeverri signing for City, with bosses at the Premier League outfit having consulted the Argentine ahead of the move.

But Echeverri’s future isn’t the only question hanging over Girona’s involvement in the Champions League though, with a potential conflict of interest relating to their qualification, because of UEFA rules on club ownership. Restrictions are in place to prevent clubs that share the same owners from competing in the competition, meaning Girona are at risk of being bumped down to the Europa League.

Girona already boast a licence to compete in UEFA competitions, having had their request granted at the end of last season, when the Catalan club narrowly missed out on a spot in the Europa Conference League. The governing body will now have to convene over whether Girona will be able to compete in the continent’s premier competition next season.


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