Arturo Vidal is claiming €2.4 million in unpaid bonuses from Barcelona in a move that the Catalan club believe is an attempt to force a January exit, sources have told ESPN.
Vidal's lawyers filed a complaint to the Spanish Footballers' Association (AFE) earlier in December, in which they alleged Barca have only paid the Chile international €1.7m of the €4.1m he is due in bonuses.
Sources at the club told ESPN they were "surprised" by the demands being made by Vidal and his representatives, saying the player's payments are in order and they think he is trying to engineer a move to Italian side Inter Milan next month.
However, Barca remain reluctant to let Vidal leave in the middle of the season. Carles Alena has already been allowed to join Real Betis on loan until the end of the campaign, reducing the number of options available in midfield.
The same sources said it would take an offer of around €20m -- similar to what Barca paid Bayern Munich for Vidal in 2018 -- for the Blaugrana to even consider changing their stance.
"I am not in charge of that, that's what I have my agent and my lawyer for, to take care of bonuses and things like that," Vidal told ADN at an event for former teammate Rodolfo Madrid in Chile on Friday when asked about the dispute.
"It seems unfair to me that my claim is not being recognised, but it's not an issue that has anything to do with why we're here today."
Speaking in November, Vidal, who will turn 33 in May, said he would look to leave Barca in January if he was not playing regularly.
He stormed out of training when he learned he would not start the Clasico against Real Madrid in December, but did start the next game, scoring his fifth goal of the season in the 4-1 win over Alaves before Christmas.
Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed the Serie A leaders would be keen on signing Vidal, who previously played under the club's coach, Antonio Conte, at Juventus.
"I said when I arrived [in Chile] that I would speak about that issue when I am [in Spain]," Vidal added when asked about his future. "I am on holiday [until Jan. 2] and I just want to speak about what's going on today."
ESPN also contacted Vidal's agent Fernando Felicevich, but at the time of publication he had not responded to a request for comment.