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Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 11:43 UK

Man City dismiss 'poaching' claim

Man City and Rennes are in dispute over Jeremy Helen
Rennes have reported City to Fifa over the Helan case

Manchester City have denied claims from Rennes that they unlawfully signed a young player as they become the latest club embroiled in a transfer row.

Jeremy Helan joined City in February and Rennes have reported the matter to world football's governing body Fifa.

The French club say the 17-year-old was bound through a pre-contract agreement.

City insist that they did everything above board in signing the player and have released a statement pointing to a prior dispute between Rennes and Helan.

"Manchester City is aware of the ongoing contractual dispute in the French Labour Courts between Jeremy Helan and Stade Rennais," said the statement from the Premier League club.

"The dispute between the player and the club pre-dates any interest from Manchester City.

"We are comfortable that we have acted within the rules throughout the process and in no way induced any breach of contract by Jeremy Helan."

Rivals Chelsea were recently found guilty of inducing a Lens player to join them - and the London club has since been banned from signing any players until January 2011.

606: DEBATE
ManCitizens - Ireland is Superman

Fifa's dispute resolution chamber ruled that Chelsea had been guilty of inducing Gael Kakuta to break his contract with Lens in 2007.

And Fifa has confirmed to the BBC that there is a case pending involving Helan, City and Rennes with their player status department, which deals with the registration of footballers.

Rennes technical director Pierre Dreossi told The Independent newspaper: "For us it was strange to have no discussion from City.

"And now, in the week after the declaration on Chelsea, I would hope that it will be the same thing for Manchester City."

Rennes claim Helan signed a pre-contract agreement with them as a 13-year-old that tied the player and club to a deal if the player represented France at junior level. The defender, dubbed the new Patrice Evra, went on to captain the France under-16 team.

As it stands, European law prevents players from signing formal contracts tying them to clubs before their 16th birthday meaning that the club is in danger of losing them to another team when they reach that age.

This is further complicated by the fact that different nations are governed by different rules and sporting jurisdiction is sometimes at odds with employment law.

Helan had initially been the subject of interest from Manchester United but eventually joined City - with The Independent reporting that the French Football Federation provided an International Transfer Certificate.

Droessi said this had been provided in error and added: "Manchester City must now realise the consequences of their attitude in the Helan case as it is even more illegal than Kakuta."

In addition to the cases involving Kakuta and Lens, and Helan and Rennes, another French club has made claims against a Premier League side.

Le Havre have alleged that Manchester United offered financial inducements to the family of 16-year Paul Pogba to lure the teenager to Old Trafford.

United say they will take legal action against Le Havre unless they stop making the allegations.


Ian Dennis and Brian Alexander host a BBC Radio 5 Live special on the fall-out from Chelsea's transfer ban from 1900 BST on Tuesday.



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see also
Taylor supports U18 transfer ban
06 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea angered by signings ban
04 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Man Utd threaten to sue Le Havre
08 Sep 09 |  Man Utd
Man Utd deny 'stealing' youngster
01 Aug 09 |  Man Utd


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