Barcelona have sensationally accused Premier League duo, Arsenal and Manchester City, of unsettling players at the Catalan club.
The Camp Nou president made the outrageous claim when answering a question about Etihad Stadium manager Roberto Mancini’s reported interest in Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas, then he decided to mention to Gunners.
“Manchester City want to remove our players and want to destabilise us,” he is quoted as saying in Mundo Deportivo.
“It also happens with Arsenal, who talk to youth players and offer them a lot of money.”
Rosell’s comments may sting Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger particularly, as the Catalan club have regularly poached the best talent out of Emirates Stadium and Highbury since the Frenchman took over at the Gunners.
Manchester City’s only business with Barcelona to date was the £24million for Yaya Toure, though the Ivorian was not a regular starter at the time.
Most recently though, was Barça’s pursuit of then Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas over the 2009-10 and 2010-11 season before the transfer was completed, where there were numerous public comments coming out of Barcelona suggesting Fabregas belonged there – the now infamous “Barcelona DNA” comments particularly rile Gunners fans.
Alex Song made the same journey this summer, and the comments coming out of Camp Nou, while not quite so open as with Fabregas, were familiar in their tone.
However, there can be no denial that Arsenal are no strangers to taking youth players from the famed La Masia academy, with Fabregas being the most successful outcome and recent acquisitions Jon Toral Harper and Hector Bellerin both tipped for bright futures.