Valencia have rubbished purported claims in a leaked audio recording that club president Anil Murthy said he would "kill" Carlos Soler if the latter was to leave the club, and are considering their legal options against the publication that ran the story.
The Mestalla outfit, who finish their campaign in La Liga on Saturday against Celta Vigo, saw themselves at the centre of shocking allegations on Sunday surrounding one of their brightest talents, from the publication Superdeporte.
The club claims that audio recordings have been edited to give a false impression, and say that it relates to a vendetta between them and the organisation in question.
What have Valencia said on the matter?
"The recordings published in Superdeporte are edited and adulterated to convey a false or biased narrative, within the context of a general conversation, and to try to generate controversy," read an offical club statement, adding that the claims were part of a "smear campaign".
"Superdeporte have committed a serious lack of professional ethics and an attack on privacy by publishing audio recordings taken out of context, from a private conversation and recorded illegitimately without the permission of the president of Valencia, Anil Murthy.
"This matter is in the hands of the Valencia legal department, which is already studying the measures to be taken against Superdeporte."
What was the original context of the claims?
In the audio published by Superdeporte, a figure identified as Murthy was heard to make claims that he would tell Soler that “if you leave for free in January, I'll kill you.
"I'll kill you and all the press. I'll put down €100,000 to kill. Because you have to bring in money, you grew up in the academy, and the club has invested a lot of money in you."
Soler, a product of the club's youth system, has frequently been linked with a move away this term thanks to a string of impressive performances despite Valencia struggling to a mid-table finish.