If the ban by FIFA would stand, Barcelona could only do their next transfer business in summer 2015, but what would this mean for the Spanish giants.
1) Barcelona can appeal!
For now, Barcelona can remain calm as they have 90 days to appeal and explain the irregularities around the transfers. Chelsea were charged with a two-window transfer ban by FIFA in 2010 for the signing of Gael Kakuta, but won their appeal at the Court of Arbitration (CAS). In addition, appealing at the CAS would take time, so the transfer ban could only be affected from summer 2015. According to Barcelona sources the club will publish a statement later today.
2) Which rules have Barcelona broken?
Art. 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. According to art. 19, international transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the age of 18. However, the same article stipulates that international transfers of minor players are permitted under three limited circumstances:
a) The players have moved country for their own, non-related reasons
b) The move takes place within the European Union, if the player is aged between 16 and 18
c) The players home is less than 50 km from the border being crossed
Barcelona reportedly have a trio of youth players from South Korea, including a much-sought after 15-year-old striker Lee Seung Woo, as well as players from Africa.
3) Goalkeeper crisis?
Barcelona goalkeeper, Victor Valdes, has already announced he will be leaving the Blaugrana at the end of the season. He will be out of contract and wanted to find a new challenge after 12 years at Camp Nou. Valdes recently sustained an ACL injury, which will keep him out for six months, but was still adamant he will be leaving. Valdes-replacement, Jose Manuel Pinto, who is also out of contract, is not exactly the goal keeper with whom the Catalan giants would like to go into the new season, so they might offer Valdes a new juicy contract.
4) Defensive doubts?
Club captain, Carles Puyol, also announced he will be leaving Barcelona at the end of the season following six La Liga titles, three Champions League triumphs and two Copa del Rey victories. Barcelona were keen to sign two centre-backs to stabilize their defense, but that now seems impossible. With just Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano, much responsibility would be placed on Marc Bartra, 23, and other Barcelona B defenders.
5) Which transfers would be impacted?
The ban will cast a shadow over the recent transfer of ‘Croatian Messi’, Alen Halilovic, who turns 18 in June. Barcelona announced last week that the player will join from Dinamo Zagreb and has signed a five-year contract. But will this deal stand?
In addition to Halilovic, it is no secret that Barcelona have basically agreed a deal with Borussia Monchengladbach’s keeper, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, as replacement of leaving Victor Valdes. If Barcelona would not be allowed to sign Ter Stegen, and Valdes would still leave, who would keep the Barcelona goal clean?
6) Which players could benefit from the transfer ban?
Barcelona have currently four loan-players, who will return at the end of the season and could be given a real chance to shine at Camp Nou.
- Gerard Deulofeu, right wing, 20 years old, at Everton, 19 games, 3 goals, 3 assists
- Rafinha, attacking midfielder, 21 years old, at Celta Vigo, 27 games, 4 goals, 5 assists
- Bojan Krikic, right wing, 23 years old, at Ajax, 23 games, 3 goals, 4 assists
- Keirrison, centre forward, 25 year old, at Coritiba (Brazil)
Despite Barcelona’s prospects of building on arguably the strongest youth academy, La Masia, a transfer ban could really hurt the Spanish giants. Their ageing squad needs an overhaul as they are eager to sign a long-term Xavi-replacement and are on the hunt for a new right-back (Dani Alves' contract has not yet been extended) as well as a new striker.
What’s your take, would this ban really hurt Barcelona or could they cope with it given their squad-depth (including youth ranks)? Have your say in the comment section below.