Barcelona want to stop Premier League clubs picking off Spanish talent

Barcelona have asked the Spanish FA to close the contractual loophole that allows Premier League clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool to sign their most talented teenagers, after three more prospects moved to England, the Daily Mirror has reported.

The Catalans request comes as Liverpool look to complete a deal to bring 15-year-old winger Sergi Canos to Anfield, while Chelsea have picked up under-15 starlet Josimar Quintero and Arsenal have nabbed Julio Pleguezuelo, a 16-year-old defender.

Spanish regulations prevent players the age of the departing trio from signing professional contracts, leaving them free to walk away from Barcelona for a nominal sum. But there are no such restrictions in English football, allowing the Premier League to cherrypick from the fame La Masia academy.

It is not a new practice, either, the Mirror adds, as Arsenal signed Cesc Fabregas, who was later sold back to Barcelona, as well as Fran Merida, Hector Bellerin and Jon Toral, and Manchester United snapped up Gerard Pique, who also later returned to the Camp Nou.

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