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Friday, 05 July 2024 20:05

Man City, Man Utd cleared to play in Europe alongside sister clubs.

By Simon Stone.

Manchester City and Manchester United have been cleared to take their places in European competition next season after conflicts over multi-club ownership with Girona and Nice respectively were resolved.

However, United will be prevented from signing highly-rated Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo by Uefa.

City Football Group owns City and Girona, while Ineos controls the football operations of United and Nice, and Uefa does not allow clubs with the same ownership to be involved in the same competition.

The Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) of European football's governing body said on Friday "significant changes" had been made at Girona and Nice which would "substantially restrict investors' influence and decision-making power".

In addition, shares have been transferred through independent trustees to a blind trust, which will be supervised by the CFCB.

Among additional guarantees given by the City Football Group and Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos Group to prove the independence of the respective clubs, they agreed not to transfer players "permanently or on loan, either directly or indirectly from July 2024 to September 2025".

This means United will not be able to sign Frenchman Todibo, the £40m-rated defender Ratcliffe had hoped would switch clubs.

However, City's pursuit of Brazilian winger Savio will be unaffected as he has returned to parent club Troyes, who are also part of the City Football Group, after his loan with Girona expired on 30 June.

A CFG source told BBC Sport that City and Girona were compliant with all the CFCB requests.

Ineos said in a statement: "We are pleased with the positive decision from the First Chamber of the Uefa Club Financial Control Body which will see Manchester United play in the Europa League next season. The focus for Manchester United is on the season ahead and performance on the pitch."

City will be playing in their 14th consecutive Champions League campaign, but Girona qualified for the first time by finishing third in La Liga, their highest ever league position.

Nice also seemed set to qualify for Europe's most prestigious club competition for a long time last season, but eventually finished fifth in Ligue 1. Manchester United qualified for the Europa League by beating Premier League champions City in the FA Cup final.

It remains to be seen how the matter is dealt with over the longer term, given the shares are due to be transferred back in July 2025.

At that point, CFCB say the clubs will be considered to be "under the control or decisive influence of their investor".