Spanish champions Barcelona confirmed their interest in signing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot in a statement on Sunday but have denied any transfer irregularities.
“In response to information published in France, FC Barcelona affirm that they have not broken any rule concerning the transfers of players from PSG,” said the statement published only on the French language section of their website.
“The only contact took place last August and a week ago. These two contacts took place with the sporting officials of PSG to indicate Barca’s interest in the player Adrien Rabiot.”
PSG said earlier in December that they will allow the 23-year-old, whose contract expires in the summer, to join another club at the end of the season due to his reluctance to sign a new deal.
His agent Veronique Rabiot, who is also his mother, said the following day that the situation between the French champions and her son had completely deteriorated.
Barcelona, who were banned from signing players for a year in 2014 for breaking rules over the international transfer of players aged under 18, have been at pains to point out that they have not signed any deal prior to the transfer window opening on January 1.
“Barcelona have always wanted to work with transparency with PSG and any other club,” said the statement.
“Barcelona deny the existence of an agreement with PSG player Adrien Rabiot.”
Rabiot, who has made more than 150 top-flight appearances, has been agitating for a transfer for some time. He also rejected a chance to be on standby for France’s World Cup-winning squad.
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)