Manchester City's £22million star Stevan Jovetic has been dropped from the club’s Champions League squad to make room for their new winter signing, Wilfried Bony. The striker is said to be distressed by this news and his absence from this squad will now increase speculation about his future in the club, despite having three years left on his contract. Jovetic was the only change to City’s original squad submitted to Uefa before the knockout stages.
The Citizens had their squad reduced from the normal 25 to 21 and also got trimmed for the normal quota of 17 foreign players to 16 as a part of the punishment from Uefa's financial fair play. The arrival of Ivorian international on £25 million deal meant City had one more foreign player in their squad than they are permitted to register for the European competition.
Jovetic sacrificed due to foreign player quota
Manuel Pellegrini had to make a choice between Jovetic, Willy Caballero, Bacary Sagna, Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko for the axe and finally chose the 25-year old striker. The decision by the City manager to leave out Jovetic means that he will be restricted to three main strikers for the competition – Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Bony.
Elsewhere, Arsenal have confirmed the inclusion of Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin and Gabriel Paulista in their 25-man squad to replace Joel Campbell, Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo. Also, Chelsea have added Juan Cuadrado and talented youngster Isaiah Brown to replace Andre Schurrle, Mohamed Salah and Lewis Baker, while Real Madrid added their new signings Lucas Silva and Martin Odegaard to their Champions League squad.
City will face Barcelona in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Etihad Stadium on 24th February and will play the return leg at the Nou Camp three weeks later.