London - The Football Association (FA) said on Wednesday it is investigating allegations that Manchester City paid £200 000 to Jadon Sancho's agent when the player was 14.
German magazine Der Spiegel said City made the prohibited 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 the age 16 or any person connected with that individual.
An FA spokesman said in a statement: "We can confirm that the FA will be investigating the allegations."
City responded to the claims 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 make a first-team appearance for City and moved to German side Borussia Dortmund for £8 million in August 2017.
One of the Bundesliga's outstanding players this season, the winger, 18, made his England debut in October.
Der Spiegel, using material purportedly obtained from the whistleblowing outlet Football Leaks, reported in November that City had set up sponsorship deals to circumvent regulations limiting how much money owners can put into a club.