Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended the way his club signed Barcelona youngster Jon Toral, and said there was nothing wrong with their approach.
Arsenal, who also signed Cesc Fabregas from under Barcelona’s noses, had been accused of being “immoral” by Barcelona president Sandro Rosell, although ironically the deal was set up by Barcelona boss Guardiola’s brother.
A difference in English rules enable them to approach players in Spain approaching their 16th birthdays, and Arsenal also took Fran Merida and Ignasi Miguel in the past.
“You forget that this boy is English. He has an English passport, his mother is from England and hopefully he will join us in the summer,” Wenger said.
“We have players who leave us for other professional clubs in England.
“We have done what just is legal.
“I love Barcelona, I love Catalonia – I have nothing against them, but when a player who is half English and Spanish wants to join us, why should we turn him down if it’s all legal?
“If we have done something illegal, I will say ‘sorry, my boy, we cannot do it’.
“Plenty of players leave us under exactly the same rule.”
Wenger also refused to respond the Barcelona presidents comments.
“I do not want to go further on that front because it is very difficult,” he added.
“If you go in the academy of Barcelona and you look where all the players come from, come back to me and we can talk about it.”