City in the clear over signing of teenager Garre
Manchester City have been cleared of wrongdoing over the signing of teenager Benjamin Garre from Argentinian club Velez Sarsfield, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has announced.
The newly-crowned Premier League champions could have faced a transfer ban had they been found guilty of breaching international transfer regulations when they signed Garre, then 16, in 2016.
After claiming City acted unethically by approaching Garre when he was still only 15, Velez then alleged rules were broken when he was signed after his 16th birthday.
World governing body Fifa forbid international transfers for under-18s but it is permitted by law within the European Union. City successfully argued that Garre, because he has an Italian passport, was entitled to move.
Fifa therefore rejected Velez's initial complaint, but the club took their case to Lausanne-based CAS, where a hearing took place last year.
After a significant delay, a ruling has now been delivered that backs City and supports Fifa's original decision.
A statement from CAS read: "The appeal filed on December 12, 2016 by Club Atletico Velez Sarsfield against the decision issued on August 24, 2016 by the single judge of the sub-committee of the Fifa players' status committee (the challenged decision) is dismissed and, accordingly, the challenged decision is confirmed."
Further details are due to be published on Friday.
City could have been banned from signing players for up to two transfer windows had the ruling not gone in their favour.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been subjected to bans for breaching rules around the signing of international players under the age of 18 in recent years.
Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero has undergone minor knee surgery, the City striker has announced.
He has been troubled by his left knee for the past five weeks.
Last Friday, City boss Pep Guardiola admitted he was unsure when the 29-year-old, who has scored 30 goals this season and 199 for the club in total, would be fit again.
Aguero has now had keyhole surgery in a bid to resolve the issue.
The Argentina international tweeted: "Recovering from an arthroscopy on my knee. Fully motivated to get back soon to the field."
No timescale for his recovery has been given but, with City already crowned Premier League champions, the World Cup will be his main target.
Aguero has not started a game since City's victory over Chelsea on March 4.