Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has hit criticised Arsenal for what he describes as their “immoral” pursuit of their Spanish youngster Jon Toral.
Barca are unhappy at the way Arsene Wenger’s side have moved to sign the 16-year-old – who now looks like he could follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and make the switch to England while still only a youth player.
“We told the Arsenal directors that we knew they were after Toral and we told them we didn’t like it – as any president would have said,” Rosell told Catalan television. “Legally they have done nothing wrong but it’s a little immoral.
“For us it’s very important to keep this group of kids who have grown up together in La Masia. We don’t like it that clubs come in with offers of money just before they turn 16.
“There are two philosophies – ours is to invest in La Masia and the other is to fish all over Europe for kids of 15 like Arsenal.”
Any deal for Toral is not expected to have a bearing on Fabregas will return to the Camp Nou, with Rosell saying the club will make a decision on a bid for the 23-year-old at the end of the season.
“I don’t think it will affect it because one matter has nothing to do with the other,” Rosell said. “Arsenal already know how we feel and that’s it. If our coaches are interested in Cesc, then we’ll see what happens in the summer.”