Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak holds no UEFA grudge following overturned ban

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak says “life is too short to carry grudges” and insists the club are intent on having a “constructive relationship” with UEFA.

In a wide-ranging interview which also covered summer transfers and talisman Kevin De Bruyne, Khaldoon addressed City’s overturned European ban.

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City were handed a two-year suspension by UEFA’s club financial control body (CFCB) in February for “serious breaches” of club licensing and financial fair play regulations, but it was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July – freeing the club to play in next season’s Champions League.

Asked if City’s relationship with UEFA was beyond repair, Khaldoon said he did not carry a grudge and would rather focus on trying to win the Champions League.

“Life is too short to carry grudges,” Khaldoon told mcfc.co.uk. “It is an important competition. It is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of sports and it is a competition we want to win, and we have to respect in order to win.

“This was a challenge, it’s behind us, end of story. I am focused on one thing – how I can help this club compete in this competition and win it and how to have a constructive relationship with UEFA, I think it’s the only way to go.”

City flexible on transfer policy

City have already acquired defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth and winger Ferran Torres from Valencia, while Leroy Sane, David Silva and Claudio Bravo have left the club.

Khaldoon said more players will follow Ake and Torres through the entrance door this summer, and while they have made the 20-25-year-old category a priority, the club will be “pragmatic” should the opportunity arise to sign a player outside that age bracket.

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“When we look at what changes or improvements we have to make for this squad, we’re going to make them and we’ll be sensible and pragmatic about it but we will do what it takes,” Khaldoon added.

“I think you’ve seen when it comes to the two acquisitions we have made, Ake and Ferran Torres, we moved quickly, we knew the players clearly, these were our targets and when the opportunity came, we were able to come in very quickly and swiftly and do that business. There are additional players we will be bringing in and we will stick to the plan obviously within the realities of the market that we live in today.

“If you look at the acquisitions we have made over the past couple of years, there’s a consistency in the type of player we have targeted in terms of age and quality. So we will continue down that road.

“The age bracket we are always looking at it as a priority for the first team, in that 20-25-year-old category, that’s kind of the spot that we like, but at the same time, the reason I don’t like to box myself in with this answer is because sometimes opportunities come up that fit with what the manager wants and with what we need for the squad that might be out of that box.

“If that’s the case, we’re pragmatic enough to make that move. So nothing is set in stone. We clearly have a way of doing business in terms of targets that are well defined but at the same time, we’re pragmatic enough to take the opportunity if that opportunity comes up.”

‘De Bruyne the future of MCFC’

Despite Liverpool’s runaway success it was Kevin De Bruyne who was crowned Premier League Player of the Season for a campaign which saw two of the Belgian’s 13 goals nominated for goal of the season, while his 20 assists matched Thierry Henry’s Premier League record for a single season.

The award was more than deserved, according to Khaldoon, who stressed De Bruyne is an “important leader” at a time where the club are looking to choose a new captain following David Silva’s departure.

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