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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Del Nido criticises Barca recruitment

Sevilla president Jose Maria Del Nido says Barcelona's policy of signing up talented prospects from far and wide is forcing Spain's other clubs to pay salaries to their best young players.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter this week backed his organisation's stance in banning six Barca youth players, as their moves to the Catalan club from various other countries were against official regulations.

The Sevilla chief said La Liga clubs were also angry at Barca's policy of mopping up the best underage talent throughout Spain for its La Masia youth academy, and his club had taken to paying youngsters to stop them leaving.

"Sevilla has 27 football teams and we have had to safeguard our youth players to avoid them leaving, principally for Barcelona," Del Nido said. "[Barca's] new La Masia was inaugurated last year with a player from our youth system who they took aged just 11, along with his brother of 14.

"I read the very interesting interview with Blatter in AS which indicated that Barca are the European club who have received the most protests due to this theft, to call it that, of players from the junior structures of Spanish teams in the last five years. This means we now have to pay many players in the youth system who previously did not receive anything."

Barca youth players Lee Seung Woo, Paik Seung-Ho and Jang Gyeolhee (South Korea), Theo Chendri (France), Patrice Sousia (Cameroon) and Bobby Adekanye (Nigeria-Netherlands) are currently training with their respective underage teams at La Masia but unable to play in competitive games.

FIFA only sanctions international youth transfers when one of the three following situations apply: the player's parents have moved country for their own, non-related reasons; the move takes place within the European Union if a player is aged between 16 and 18; or the player's home is less than 50 kilometres from the national border being crossed.

Of Barca's current senior side Andres Iniesta (Albacete), Pedro Rodriguez (Raqui San Isidro in Tenerife), Thiago Alcantara (Eureka de Vigo in Galicia) and Lionel Messi (Newell's Old Boys in Argentina) were all taken into the blaugrana youth set-up as teenagers after starting their development elsewhere.

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