Transfer talk

Barca slam "immoral" Arsenal over Toral

February 24, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has hit out at Arsenal's "immoral" pursuit of their Spanish starlet Jon Toral.

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell
GettyImagesBarcelona president Sandro Rosell could be set for a period in jail

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Barca are unhappy at the way Arsene Wenger's side have swooped in to try 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.

Rosell could not contain his anger at the Gunners' conduct - with reports suggesting he exchanged heated words with members of the Arsenal hierarchy while attending the two clubs' Champions League clash at the Emirates last weekend - and noted that Barca have a very different manner of developing their youngsters.

"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 will neither increase nor decrease the likelihood of a transfer being reached to return Fabregas to the Camp Nou, with Rosell noting the club will make a decision on any 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."