Espanyol to launch De Lucas action

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SPANISH side Espanyol will begin legal proceedings in a bid to claim compensation for the loss of midfielder Enrique De Lucas to Chelsea last summer.

Director general of the Catalan club, Josep Lluis Marco, visited Fifa in Zurich on Monday and was given the green light by football's governing body to take their case to the Spanish judicial system.

Espanyol are demanding to be recompensed by Chelsea for nurturing and bringing through De Lucas, as they lost the player for nothing at the end of his contract to the West London outfit.

The 24-year-old caused a storm of controversy in Spain when he left the Estadio Olimpico last year, as he was originally thought to have signed a contract with Liga rivals Alaves.

However, the midfielder refuted suggestions he had penned a binding agreement with the Basque club, and went on to agree a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Fifa have stated though that Espanyol's claim is related to the general well-being of Spanish football, and that the club must present evidence of similar cases to support action being taken to stop any future occurrences.

As well as their case against Chelsea, the Catalans have also asked Fifa to arbitrate in their feud with Arsenal over goalkeeper Alex Manninger.

The Gunners are asking Espanyol for around ‚é¼1 million after claiming the Spaniards had agreed to a permanent transfer for the Austrian shot-stopper.

However, Manninger failed to make a single first-team appearance for Espanyol, and the club claim they took him on non-contract terms and thus do not owe the Londoners any fee.