The news of Barcelona’s recent reported wronging in the transfer market in recent times has left a black mark over the club’s previously imperious reputation.
The Spanish giants were found guilty of buying under-18 players who weren’t eligible as a result of not compiling with the Spanish rules regarding youth transfers.
As a result, Barcelona have been handed a 14-month transfer ban, though that may yet be altered on the basis of a likely appeal.
One manager in particular who has a strong fondness to sign young players and develop them is Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
The Frenchman backed FIFA’s decision to issue Barcelona a ban.
"In this case, Fifa has judged the parents moved for football reasons and that is why they were banned because they have not respected the rules.” He told The Guardian.
"What is not right is that the children move under the age of 16 without their parents. That is absolutely not right.”
The Gunners’ boss’ comments, however, have not gone down too well in Barcelona.
It was not too long ago that Arsenal themselves signed a youngster from Barcelona – Cesc Fabregas – and the Barcelona media feel Wenger has been hypocritical in his criticism.
Spanish journalist Francesc Aguilar blasted Arsene Wenger in his Mundo Deportivo column, labelling him a cattle thief in relation to the number of youth signings he has made during his Arsenal career.
“Regarding Wenger’s comments, he has been highlighted during his years of being a coach for having a famed reputation as a cattle thief in all the youth academies around the world.”
“Arsenal, like many English clubs, discovered that it was much cheaper and productive to invest in young Spanish talent before investing in a proper infrastructure.”
“In the words said by King Juan Carlos to Hugo Chaves, the late president of Venezuela, Arsene Wenger, why don’t you just shut up?”