Man city alleged to have made illegal payments to acquire English star’s services

Manchester City came under the spotlight after reports emerged that Jadon Sancho’s transfer to the club may have been illegal.

On the same day that Chelsea were handed a two-window ban on signing players due to their transfer dealings with minors – documents published by Football Leaks suggest City have also broken FIFA rules.

The report by Der Spiegel claims that City agreed to pay Sancho’s former club Watford an up-front fee of £150,000 when the player was just 14-years-old in 2015.

As part of the arrangement, it is alleged that Watford would then receive a further £500,000 if Sancho made ten appearances for the first team.

However, it is further claimed that Sancho’s agent, Emeka Obasi, was remunerated as part of the deal.

Obasi is said to have received £200,000 which Spiegel say was described as an “agent fee” in internal City documents.

Spiegel state however that the fee was paid for “scouting services”.

Sancho has since moved on to German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, having failed to make a single appearance for the City first team, and has since become part of the full England squad, having earned his first call-up in October.

The 18-year-old signed for Watford at the age of seven, before making the switch to City seven years later under the Elite Player Performance Plan, which imposes a fixed tariff on the transfers of under-18 players.

Amongst the hacked documents, Spiegel claim they also have a copy of a letter sent to Sancho’s father, from City, detailing the finer financial points of his contract, such as salary.

According to the report, a club lawyer specified that “this was not an offer”, and admitted it could be deemed as an “inducement and therefore a breach” of the rules.

Manchester City responded to the claims by refusing to comment on ‘hacked’ documents.

Chelsea were hit with a ban by FIFA on Friday, prohibiting them from signing any new players over the next two transfer windows.

The ban relates to an infringement made by the Blues in singing 29 players under the age of 18.

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