Manchester City have spent an initial £375,000 ($482k) on Millwall 14-year-old Darko Gyabi, who comes from the same south London estate as Jadon Sancho.
Gyabi joined City recently and is the latest London youngster to make the move to the Etihad Stadium, following in the footsteps of the likes of Taylor Richards, Ian Carlo Poveda and Sancho, who has earned rave reviews for both Borussia Dortmund and the England national team since leaving City in acrimonious circumstances last summer.
Gyabi, an energetic midfielder who has been playing in older age groups for Millwall in recent years, has already made his City youth debut.
It is understood that the transfer could be worth considerably more to Millwall than the initial £375k should Gyabi hit a certain number targets, thought to relate the youngster’s game-time and progression through the ranks in Manchester.
The news comes amid fresh Football Leaks allegations that City are to receive a one-year transfer ban from FIFA for signing overseas under-18 players in contravention of the governing body’s regulations.
In an article on the movement of young footballers, Politiken, the Danish newspaper working in co-operation with Football Leaks that last week alleged City had struck an illegal deal with FC Nordsjaelland over the signing of west African prospects, says new documents show that FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber has recommended a two-window transfer ban for City.
The same report alleges Chelsea are set for a four-window ban, spanning two years.
FIFA rules prohibit players under the age of 18 from moving abroad unless both the player and buying club are based within 50 kilometers of a national border, or the player’s parents have emigrated for non-footballing reasons.
Last week, FIFA denied that it had reached an verdict in its investigations: “As communicated in September 2017, investigations were opened concerning the club Chelsea FC as well as other English clubs in relation to potential breaches of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. The proceedings are ongoing and, to date, no decision has been passed by the FIFA judicial bodies.
Thus, the clubs are to be presumed innocent unless decided otherwise. No further information can be provided as the cases are ongoing. Any update will be communicated in due course.”
City have refused to comment on any specific allegations relating to the Football Leaks stories. A statement released in light of the first batch of allegations, relating to Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations, reads: “We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purportedly hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people.
“The attempt to damage the club's reputation is organised and clear.”
Chelsea say they have “fully cooperated with FIFA and provided comprehensive evidence demonstrating its compliance with the applicable FIFA regulations”.
City are now clear to sign domestic talents once again after being banned from doing so for a year by the Premier League in May 2017. There is no suggestion that City’s move for Gyabi has breached any league regulations.
By Sam Lee
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