Argentine football giants River Plate have refused to authorise the transfer of striker Lucas Alario to German club Bayer Leverkusen, describing the move as illegal.
The Bundesliga outfit had announced on August 31 that they reached a deal to sign Alario after invoking the 24-year-old’s buyout clause, reportedly set at 24 million euros ($28.96 million), reports Xinhua news agency.
“The operation is illegal and illegitimate and for that reason the club will continue to defend the interests of the institution in all relevant areas and instances,” River Plate said in a press release on Thursday.
River claim that the transaction breaches FIFA transfer rules, which stipulate that contracts cannot be cancelled when a season has already started.
Alario played in River Plate’s 1-0 victory over Temperley in the opening round of the Argentine Superliga season on August 27.
River said they refused a request by the German club to sign documents needed to complete the transfer and vowed to take the matter to world football’s governing body FIFA.