Sandro Rosell, the Barcelona president, has attacked Manchester City for attempting to lure away the Spanish side’s best players by simply opening their chequebook, comparing the actions of the Premier League champions to those employed by Arsenal when the Gunners prise away Barca’s most promising youngsters, the
City have recently been linked with a big-money move for Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, and World Cup and European Championships winner with Spain and graduate of Barca’s famed La Masia academy.
The same school has routinely been raided by Arsenal, with Rosell claiming City’s attempts to sign Barcelona’s biggest stars mirrors the way in which Arsenal tempt academy prospects to England, by offering more money than Barcelona are willing to do.
Rosell said: “City are now doing at first team what Arsenal have been doing at academy: call players and offer them lots of money.
“Busquets is the last try from City and in the past we have had the same situation for Messi, Valdes, Xavi and Puyol. But they have all stayed and this is the power and force of Barca.”
Arsenal have in the past signed the likes of Cesc Fabregas before he has reached the Barcelona first team, although the Mirror claims Barcelona are hardly innocent in the dark arts of transfer machinations, with the Nou Camp side poaching Fabregas, Thierry Henry and Alex Song from Arsene Wenger after some highly public pursuits.
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