Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted the club are powerless in their hopes of persuading Paris Saint-Germain to sell Marco Verratti.
The Blaugrana have made the 24-year-old Italian international their prime transfer target this summer and despite reportedly being willing to offer €80m and the player wanting the move, it may never materialise.
“Unfair that the Spanish League requires release clauses? It’s the only League that requires them,” he told Mundo Deportivo.
“It creates a problem for us because you don’t know how much a player costs until you enter negotiations.
“I use the example of Verratti, a player that we’d like to sign. Our coaches believe he is suited to play in Barca’s midfield and we know that the player would love to join Barca.
“But when you call PSG and talk to their President, he tells us that [Verratti’s] not for sale and that there’s no release clause.
“Therefore, that President can decide whether to sit down and negotiate with us.
“In this sense, Spanish football is defenceless. Here are releases clauses and abroad there are none, and those teams abroad can come here and pay up, while we can’t.
“We’ve yet to sit down with PSG, despite being aware of the player’s desire to join Barca.
“For now, we must accept this. We already experienced it with Cesc [Fabregas], when Arsenal didn’t want to negotiate with us for a year.
“They told us in writing and we had to accept it. If Verratti had a clause, we could’ve gone for him. Until August 31, I don’t know if we can sit down and negotiate.
“Can PSG be persuaded to negotiate? There’s no magic formula. If they don’t want to sell then…
“The player has said that he wants to leave, but PSG have told him that he’ll only be able to do so when his contract expires.”