Ben Rumsby, sports news correspondent 21 SEPTEMBER 2016 • 9:12PM Manchester City have been reported to Fifa after being accused of the attempted “trafficking” of a schoolboy they beat Manchester United and Barcelona to sign. Argentine side Vélez Sarsfield confirmed they had lodged a formal complaint over City’s recruitment of Benjamín Garré, who joined the Premier League leaders after turning 16 in July. Vélez claim City tried to purchase Garré from them when he was still 15, an approach they allege breached Fifa’s rules on the transfer of minors. They also say Garré, who has represented Argentina at under-15 level, had played for their amateur age-grade teams since he was 11 and that a move to City, and away from his family, was not in his best interests. Raul Gámez, Vélez’s president, said on Wednesday: “Never have I experienced such an immoral act.” There are severe restrictions on clubs signing players under the age of 18 from outside the European Union in order to prevent the exploitation of minors. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid have all been hit with transfer bans in recent years for breaking the rule. On Wednesday night, City vehemently denied any wrongdoing in their recruitment of a player they say holds an Italian passport, entitling him to join Pep Guardiola’s side on his 16th birthday. Fifa, which City said approved the signing this summer, did not respond before publication to requests for comment on the status of Vélez’s complaint. In a statement outlining their “trafficking” allegation, Vélez said they were confident the governing body would punish City in the same way as Barca, Real and Atlético. They claimed that City first approached them about signing Garré – who had a trial at United two years ago – in June. They said City’s proposal, signed by director of football Txiki Begiristain, included an offer to pay them €50,000 (£42,917) when Garré made his professional debut, followed by further payments up to €1,050,000, depending on subsequent appearances. Vélez said they rejected the proposal and told City it was contrary “to good faith, confraternity, solidarity and respect for the regulations applicable to football, characteristic of any club with renowned performance and prestige as is in this case Manchester”. Gámez said: “They offered money to take a 15-year-old child who is in the middle of his stage of development. We don’t know what they offered the father and the child in order to convince them. “In Vélez, we defend values and we act in good faith. We are not interested in collecting €50,000 or €1,000,000 if said action is prohibited and may affect the player. “What is most important in these cases is the formation and development of the child, in a supportive environment, above economic or strictly sports interests. It is crazy to think that our youngsters can find themselves in a situation of vulnerability or abuse in a foreign country, without their family or somebody to protect them.” Gámez vowed to take his complaint all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. “We consider Manchester City is a club that cannot violate the regulations of Fifa and even less act with bad faith. We are interested in protecting the child we have been educating since he was 11 and therefore, if necessary, we will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.” Section 19 of Fifa’s Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players states international transfers of players are permitted only if the player is over the age of 18, other than in three circumstances. The first is when the transfer is caused by the moving of the player’s parents due to work reasons; the second when the transfer is to a club within 50 kilometres of the border of the country; and the third when the transfer takes place within the territory of the European Union of a player over 16. Vélez said: “None of these exceptions apply to Benjamín Garré, who travelled to England without his parents.” Barcelona served their two-window transfer ban last year. Real and Atlético are appealing against the same sanction at CAS.