Club furious with agent over Arsenal strike target, complain to FIFA

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Arsenal target Michy Batshuayi continues to make headlines.

Michy Batshuayi is a striker making waves in Belgium, and has been tipped to make the national squad ahead of this year's World Cup.

Last month Belgian newspaper Hets Laaste Niews reported the 20-year-old as saying: "I’ve got two favourite clubs in Europe -- Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund. Borussia have got the right mix of quality and team spirit, and Arsenal hand chances to young and gifted players."

And then just yesterday The Mail reported the striker has been scouted by Arsenal, with a view to a move this summer - although his agent claims a deal can be done now.

His agent Christophe Henrotay said: 'There are Premier League clubs that are following him closely, but that's all. The interest from other big leagues is more serious.

'I'm still surprised by the way Standard communicates about Michy. The situation is very simple: if a club triggers his release clause, he can start negotiating with a club.

'I've the mandate to negotiate a transfer. At this moment there are no clubs that offered the full amount to trigger the clause. My player is still happy at Standard. For sure.

'But there's a lot of interest in him. It's getting hot. When a club decides to trigger his clause, it's up to Michy to decide.'

His comments have caused a real headache for his club, who view the agent as speaking publicly out of turn and going against their, and his clients' wishes.

Standard Liege are so outraged in fact that they have lodged an official complaint with FIFA, issuing the following statement on their website this evening:

"Standard Liege wishes to challenge FIFA regarding practices of Mr. Christophe Henrotay, licensed FIFA agent.

"Mr. Henrotay has, in recent months, made a number of representations to several clubs (in English Premier League for the most part) to offer them to acquire Michy Batshuayi. Mr. Henrotay Michy and tries to convince him to break his contract with the Standard Liege, while it has recently been reviewed and extended until 2017.

"The club regrets this approach, the more so when the player himself has repeatedly said and repeated his desire to finish the season with the goal of helping Standard to a collective title to and from an individual view, finish top scorer."

Batshuayi presently has 14 goals and 3 assists in 21 league games for his club, with a further two goals in cup competition.

From Arsenal's perspective, Standard's strong stance makes him unlikely to move this January, unless claims about his release clause are true - but he is likely only a fall-back option at this point in any case.

image: © mikehamm

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