Barcelona have denied reaching an agreement to sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot and dismissed allegations of impropriety in their transfer dealings.
The La Liga champions have been extensively linked with a move for Rabiot, whose contract at the Parc des Princes expires at the end of this season. However, Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus are also among the teams credited with an interest in the France international, who can start discussing a summer move with other clubs as of January.
The 23-year-old withdrew from talks over an extension and has not started for the runaway Ligue 1 leaders since December 5, although head coach Thomas Tuchel insists that is a footballing decision .
PSG sporting director Antero Henrique claimed Rabiot "misled" the club over his intentions to re-sign and accused Barcelona of not following transfer rules , alleging a pre-contract agreement had been sought with the player outside of the permitted window in the final six months of a contract.
La Liga champions Barca have released a statement in response, confirming they twice made contact with PSG over Rabiot but denying any further arrangement have been sought or agreed.
"FC Barcelona wish to address stories published in France regarding the signing of players from Paris Saint Germain, and make clear that they have not breached any rule in this regard," the statement read.
"The only contact made was during the month of August and one week ago. In both cases, this contact was made with PSG's sporting management to show FC Barcelona's interest in the player Adrien Rabiot.
"FC Barcelona have always wanted to work with the utmost transparency in their dealings with PSG and with any other club.
"FC Barcelona refute the existence of any type of agreement with PSG player Adrien Rabiot."
Earlier this month, Rabiot's mother, who also acts as his agent, confirmed he is in his final few months at PSG, saying his decision to leave the club is "firm and definitive" .
"The current situation has completely deteriorated, there is no going back now," she told RTL.
Rabiot has made 227 appearances for PSG since his debut in 2012, scoring 24 goals in that time.