Barcelona happy for FIFA to settle West Brom compensation case over Louie Barry - sources
Barcelona have still not paid West Bromwich Albion a penny in compensation for England youth international Louie Barry and are happy for the case to be settled by FIFA, sources have told ESPN.
Barry, 16, signed for Barca in July when his deal with West Brom expired. Under FIFA's regulations, the English side are entitled to development rights from the Spanish champions as long as they can prove they offered the player a contract to continue at the club.
Sources close to West Brom and the player have confirmed that a scholarship was offered to Barry with professional terms on the table when he turned 17, in line with the English Football Association's rules. The Championship side are compiling the evidence before submitting a complaint to FIFA.
Barca dispute that the contract offered by West Brom has value internationally, though. Sources at the Catalan club say they are happy for FIFA to make the final judgement and that if world football's governing body sides with West Brom, they will make the payment immediately.
A source involved in the deal says the English club are due €130,000: €10,000 for each year between U12s and U15s and €90,000 for his year with the U16s.
The fallout further taints Barry's spell in Spain so far with sources close to the forward telling ESPN that Barca have failed to fulfill the promises they made in the summer.
Barry, rated among the best young talent in England at the time due to his goalscoring exploits with the Three Lions' youth teams, was wanted by a host of clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
He had been set to sign for PSG before pulling out of the deal at the eleventh hour to complete a transfer to Barca. A lot more money was on offer in Paris but Barry and his family preferred the sporting project offered by Barca, with assurances made over playing time.
However, six months later, many of those people who made the deal, including former general manager Pep Segura, have left Barcelona and Barry, who is the first-ever Englishman to live at Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, has still not completed 90 minutes for the club's U19 team.
A delay in processing his registration meant that he wasn't even able to make his debut until October. He has started just two games since, scoring once, with new coach Franc Artiga, who replaced the sacked Victor Valdes, preferring the players he worked with when he was in charge of the U17s.
Barry has been left out of the squad for four of the last eight games he's been available for -- he missed one due to international duty -- and didn't even travel with his teammates for the last two games, against Mallorca and Inter Milan.
A request to play for the U17s to get some game time was turned down because it was not possible contractually.
At 16 -- and not 17 until June -- Barry is the youngest in Barca's U19s team by a distance. Many of the players turn 19 in the coming months and are fighting for their long-term futures with the club.
"He's doing well," Artiga told ESPN. "He's the youngest player in the squad, he comes from a style of football completely different to ours, which means there's the normal adaption process.
"Think about the players in the first team that struggle with that process, top players, so imagine what it's like for a kid who is just 16 that comes from a totally different league. But we are really happy with his hard work, his attitude.
"On the pitch, we see him as a No.9, a No.11. He's a kid with a lot of qualities, he's quick. I am sure that in the future he's going to give us a lot more. Without doubt, Barry is going to be more and more involved."