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Club refute poaching allegations

The club have moved to deny any wrongdoing with the signing of Jeremy Helan:

Manchester city is aware of the ongoing contractual dispute in the French Labour courts between Jeremy Helan and Stade Rennais. The dispute between the player and the Club pre-dates any interest from Manchester City.

Manchester City obviously cannot comment on the case until the French Judicial Process has run its course, however 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.

This is a story that has blown up over the past twenty-four hours, no doubt on the coat tails of the Chelsea ruling and allegations against United, and it was confirmed that the case had been reported to FIFA, with Stade Rennes stating:

"For us it was strange to have no discussion from City and now, in the week after the Fifa declaration on Chelsea, I would hope that it will be the same thing for Manchester City. Kakuta signed up for just a possibility of a full contract. For Hélan there was definitely one there, under the terms of the pre-contract agreement, because he had played for his country. Manchester United said it was not possible to negotiate with us but for City now this is dangerous."

From reading what is around today regarding the signing, aside from the morals or ethics involved, it does not appear that we are in breach of any regulations that are in place.

As for the practice in general, it isn't one that always sits easily given the manner in which many of the transfers (although legally) are completed, but it has proved a succesful practice for the past decade or so for many sides (both in the Premier League and beyond) and so it is natural I suppose that we are also seeking to reap some success.