With the Champions League action continuing, Wednesday is another busy day in the footballing world.
Here, we take a look at the biggest stories of the last 24 hours, including Manchester City’s appeal to CAS, David Villa on his close shave with an Arsenal move, and Emil Forsberg’s link with four Premier League clubs.
Two weeks ago, the Citizens were banned from the Champions League for two seasons due to breaches of FFP regulations, whilst they were also handed a £25m fine. Their response at the time was to downright deny the allegations, and now, they have confirmed they will appeal the sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The authoritative body has already said that “it is not possible” to say when the matter will be resolved, so the Premier League champions will need to continue their season knowing that no matter their efforts, they may not be in European football’s premier club competition next term. On Wednesday, they will face Real Madrid in the first leg of their round of 16 tie in this year’s edition of the tournament.
David Villa is best known for his efforts with Barcelona and Spain – he scored 48 goals in 119 matches for the Blaugrana, whilst he is La Roja’s highest ever goalscorer with 59 goals in 98 caps – but, by his own admission, he said that he was “90% certain he would sign for Arsenal” when he left the Camp Nou in 2013.
He told BBC Sport: “We were in a lot of meetings and a lot of calls. I felt 90% in that moment that I [would] go to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. But in that moment we didn’t arrive to the deal, Atletico Madrid arrived and in three or four days fixed everything.”
In the end, he joined Los Rojiblancos, scoring 15 goals in 47 matches during the 2013/14 season as Diego Simeone’s side were crowned La Liga champions and reached the Champions League final as well. After that, he played for Melbourne City, New York City and Vissel Kobe before retiring from the sport last year.
According to this week’s edition of Bild (as per Sport Witness), Sweden international Forsberg has been offered around the Premier League. Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton are all linked with a move for the creative 28-year-old, who has spent the last six years with RB Leipzig.
The price for the playmkaker is said to be around €20m (£16.9m). Forsberg is enjoying a productive campaign in Germany as Leipzig lie second in the Bundesliga, having scored nine goals and provided four assists in 24 matches.
However, that is still someway off his best form, with him having scored eight times and provided an astonishing 22 assists in 30 matches during the 2016/17 season, his current side’s first in the German top flight. He also has 48 caps for his country, and represented them at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, in which they were knocked out by losing semi-finalists England in the quarter-finals.