Barcelona are reportedly unable to register wonderkid Gavi's new contract as their well-documented financial problems show no sign of going away.
The LaLiga giants are billions of pounds in debt and have been forced to use a variety of financial gymnastics in order to meet the LaLiga salary cap. The issues have not stopped boss Xavi from rebuilding his side, but he is running into trouble as he tries to secure Gavi's future.
The 18-year-old has been a revelation for Barca since breaking into their first team under Ronald Koeman. He has continued to be a key player under Xavi and it was announced in September that he had been handed a new long-term contract.
But Marca now reports that there is 'bad news' for Barca after LaLiga informed them that they cannot register Gavi's new deal. The midfielder had been handed the number 6 shirt after signing that contract, but he will be forced to wear the number 30 jersey if he is to play.
In a 'serious setback' for Barca, LaLiga has ruled that the Catalan club do not comply with various articles related to the salary cap. That has come as a surprise to Barca, with the departures of Memphis Depay and Gerard Pique still not enough to see Gavi registered.
Despite those exits, Barca still do not comply with article 101, which stipulates new contracts take into account the limit of next year's squad, and article 93.6, which states that clubs with exceptional income must present a treasury plan for the next two seasons.
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As a result of their non-compliance with those two articles, Barca are unable to register new deals for Gavi, Ronald Araujo, Inaki Pena or Alejandro Balde. They will now have to wait until the summer before finally registering Gavi as a first-team player.
When Gavi's new deal is finally ratified, the midfielder will be tied to the Nou Camp until 2026, with a £1bn buy-out clause. He has made 26 appearances this season and was hailed by Xavi for his starring role in Barca's win over Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final.
"Gavi is a boy that thrills us all when we see him competing like this. He puts his soul, his heart and his character on the pitch and transmits it to the rest of the team, and he is just 18," Xavi said.
"He was gifted with leadership skills. He projects that courage and that rage when he plays football and it's something special to see. I already said this many times but I never get tired of praising him. Hopefully, he will never stop like this, because he has no limits."
The constraints preventing Barca from ratifying Gavi's new contract also means that Xavi is set to be 'frustrated' in his desire to sign any new players this month. It is said that the Barca boss is now resigned to completing the season without any additions to his current squad.