UD Las Palmas president, Miguel Angel Ramirez, has deemed Barcelona's offer to secure the services of Uruguay starlet Mauricio Lemos insufficient. The club chief insists the Canary Islands are not in any rush to cash in on any player and advises the La Liga giants to increase their bid for the centre-back.
Lemos moved to Las Palmas during the January transfer window on loan from Rubin Kazan. The 20-year-old enjoyed an impressive second part of the season at Quique Setien's side and the club subsequently activated a €2m clause to secure his services on permanent basis.
But Local publication Canarias7 put his future at Las Palmas under scrutiny last month after revealing Barcelona had launched a bid worth €4m, which could rise to €12m with add-ons for the defender.
Las Palmas general director, Toni Cruz, later confirmed the news, claiming that they had rejected the first formal offer from the La Liga giants while revealing that his release clause was currently set at €30m (£23.4m, $34.1m). He also suggested that the Canaries would be open to negotiating his departure for the right price.
"Yes, Barcelona have made a formal offer to sign him," Toni Cruz admitted to Cope. "I am not going to reveal the amounts or the conditions but we considered that it was not enough to accept it and so we told Barcelona. The relations between the two clubs are fantastic.
"During the January window we got Lemos on loan but with an option to buy him permanently. Due to his performances he convinced us to activate that option and we also reached an agreement with the player to get his rights. Now he belongs to us and his release clause is set at €30m."
Reports in Spain have since suggested that Barcelona will make a new offer following the departure of Marc Bartra to Borussia Dortmund.
The club's president, Miguel Angel Ramirez, confirmed Barcelona's interest in a press conference: "We have received no offers for any UD Las Palmas players in our offices with the exception of one for Lemos. Barcelona were interested and I don't know whether they are still interested but the figure of the offer was very far from what we would consider interesting to think about letting him go," Miguel Angel Ramirez said in a press conference.
Ramirez insists the club would prefer to hold onto its star players as he wants to establish the club in La Liga after gaining promotion to the first division in 2014-2015.
"Las Palmas need to make a good season so we need to make a good team and have good players. We have had similar situation with other players like Jonathan Vieira. But we don't want to sell. That club that used to sell players when we were in the second division are over. We are now a new one and want to make a good team."