The Football Association is investigating allegations that Manchester City paid £200,000 to Jadon Sancho’s agent when the player was 14, Press Association Sport understands.
German magazine Der Spiegel claimed City made the banned payment to agent Emeka Obasi in relation to the deal that took the youngster to the club from Watford in 2015.
Under Premier League rules, clubs are not permitted to offer financial inducements to a player under 16 or any person connected with that player.
City responded to the allegations on Friday, saying in a statement: “The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear.
“We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people.”
Sancho did not made a first-team appearance for City and moved to German side Borussia Dortmund for £8million in August 2017.
One of the Bundesliga’s outstanding players this season, the winger made his England debut against the United States in November.