Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger today defended the pursuit of the world's best young talent by the Premier League's top clubs - and declared a ban on the transfer of under 18s would be very damaging for the game.
Chelsea have been barred by FIFA from making any new signings for two transfer windows after being found guilty of inducing Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens in 2007, when the winger was 16.
Chelsea deny wrongdoing and are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA have confirmed they are investigating a complaint by French club Rennes against Manchester City over the signing of 17-year-old defender Jeremy Helan from Rennes.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are ready with a robust defence should Le Havre ignore the warnings and continue to pursue a case against the Red Devils over their signing of Paul Pogba.
Both the game's international governing bodies, UEFA and FIFA, want to outlaw international transfers of players aged under 18, with respective presidents Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini referring to the practice as being akin to "child slavery" and "child trafficking".
Arsenal have a long history of developing young talent from around the globe - with current captain Cesc Fabregas having left the Barcelona youth system to complete his schooling with the Gunners.
Wenger maintained the current system works, but accepted the need for proper compensation to be agreed for a player's early development.
"Look at the alternative. If you ban players from moving before the age of 18, you know what will happen? The player will be sold anyway," he said.
"To whom? To agents. At what age? At 13, 14. Where will they go? Not to top-level clubs with top-level education.
"They will go to clubs who have been bought by business people, of a very low level, and will stay there until the age of 18 waiting to be sold. The money will go out of the game.
"You have always to look if you make one decision, what kind of alternative?
"If your players cannot move to the best clubs, I believe they will not improve.
"At the end of the day, to be a top-level player is to be with the best.
"You can speak bout the compensation level, is it right or not. I am open to that.
"I am against the process of stopping the players moving to the top level.
"If you have a child who is a good musician, what is your first reaction?
"It is to put it into a good music school, not in an average one, so why should that not happen in football?"
The Gunners boss maintained: "If a player goes to Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, it is all clean and he gets a good education. That is why I am very sharp on cases like that.
"We have to respect the rules that are in place."
Wenger feels allowing natural talent to develop at the top clubs has to be encouraged, rather than legislated against.
"England is, at the moment, in a week position for taking young players because they inflict a big handicap on themselves by the fact that they have no access to Asian players, no access to South American players, no access to African players," Wenger said.
"On top of that, if it was impossible to take European players then you will have a big handicap in the future for English football.
"What is happening now is a case that I have fought for a long, long time against - people with regressive ideas.
"To expose your local players to top-world class players does not harm your players, it improves your players because it respects one basic rule - the best to become better have to play better.
"If you have a good national team today, it just proves it conforms to what I have preached for a long, long time - don't hide the best players in England from being exposed with the best ones, because that will make them weaker.
"Get them to be confronted with the best and make them stronger."
Wenger defended Arsenal's multi-national youth policy.
"People think that we take 30 players every year and you get them into your academy. No, it's not like that," he said.
"When we take one or two, we give them a top level education, we give them a top level scholarship, and we look after them socially."Reuse content