Barcelona have reportedly accused midfielder Arturo Vidal of trying to force a quick transfer to Inter Milan by bringing a lawsuit involving unpaid bonuses against the club.
Spanish newspaper ABC reported on the legal action, and Vidal has confirmed his agent and legal team are looking into the matter, per Radio ADN (h/t Football Italia): "I find it unfair that my claim is not being recognised. I am not responsible for this. My agent and my lawyer are dealing with the issue."
Per the report, Vidal believes he is owed some €2.4 million in unpaid bonus money.
But according to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Italia), Barcelona have now responded in a note to the tribunal in charge of the dispute. The Blaugrana stated the Chilean only brought the issue up just before the January transfer window because he is hoping for a quick move to Inter:
"This is a unique case in history: Someone pays you a debt, and it seems to you that the rules are not respected, then wait six months without politely warning that there may have been an error, and then request that within 24 hours you have to be paid a certain figure, only when the media publish news of interest from another team.
"The actions of Mr. Vidal show that he has peacefully received a payment in accordance with the agreements, and only now, for reasons unknown to us, does he express this. In these six months Vidal has not considered it necessary to communicate anything to us about this issue."
The 32-year-old has been strongly linked with a return to Italy after a steep decline in playing time. Vidal started 22 La Liga matches last season and made a further 11 appearances off the bench, but he has only started in four so far in the 2019-20 campaign.
According to ESPN FC, he responded angrily to not making the starting XI for the Clasico against Real Madrid, and speculation has been in overdrive since:
"My representative is who has to see that, but I'm calm and happy at Barcelona. When I return, we'll see. Now I want to be with my family, and after that return and take a decision. I'll keep taking advantage of all the opportunities and scoring. I hope to lift the titles we have before us."
The arrival of Frenkie de Jong and the strong form of Arthur―who played just once in December due to injury―have turned Vidal into a depth option, a role he does not seem happy with. Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets also sit ahead of him in the pecking order, while Carles Alena and Riqui Puig provide even more depth.
While Vidal's role with Barcelona has shrunk, he is still a tremendous player who has been productive when given the chance:
Inter are locked in a tight race for the Serie A title with Juventus and could use the added depth in midfield. Vidal played arguably the best football of his career under coach Antonio Conte in Turin, so a reunion in Milan could be beneficial to all.
Vidal and his team-mates are on a winter break. Barcelona's next outing will be on January 4 against local rivals Espanyol.