Barcelona transfer ban: Exits of Victor Valdes and Carles Puyol could cause serious problems
A look at two areas where the Catalan club are in need of reinforcements
Wednesday 02 April 2014
Barcelona have been banned from buying or selling players for the next two transfer windows after Fifa sanctioned the club for breaches of the transfers and registrations of players under the age of 18.
With some key players out of contract in the summer, the ban, should it be upheld, could have heavy consequences for Gerardo Martino’s men - who can still appeal the decision.
Below, we investigate which players are set to leave in the summer, and assess how those departures may affect the Catalan side.
The 35-year-old announced last month that he will leave Barcelona, 15 years and 593 appearances since making his debut in October 1999. Puyol has won six La Liga titles and has lifted the Champions League three times during his richly successful spell at the club, but has struggled with injuries of late.
Where does this leave Barcelona?
Vulnerable in central defence. Gerard Pique and Marc Bartra are the only other natural centre halves in Barca’s squad, though Javier Mascherano and Alex Song can provide cover too.
Reports in Germany have linked Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels with a move to Catalonia in the past and Chelsea’s David Luiz is said to be a target too. However, none will be arriving if the ban is upheld.
Valdes declared in May last year that the 2013/14 season would be his last at the club. Whether that is still the case now remains to be seen, after the goalkeeper tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Celta Vigo on March 26. Valdes is likely to be out for around seven months - but will any team be prepared to move for a player with such a serious injury when his contract expires this summer?
Victor Valdes holds his head in his hands after picking up a serious knee injury while playing for Barcelona
Where this leaves Barcelona?
With only two recognised goalkeepers - 38-year-old Pinto and Oier Olazabal, who has made just one first-team appearance for the club.
There have been plenty - Pepe Reina, Asmir Begovic, Thibaut Courtois and, most recently, Hugo Lloris have all been linked with Los Cules. Borussia Monchengladbach stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is reported to be Barca’s premier target though. Prior to today's announcement, the 21-year-old was widely expected to join the club at the end of this season, with German newspapers claiming that the Germany international had already agreed a long-term deal.
Latest in Sport
John Stones to Chelsea: Everton defender 'devastated' by transfer refusal
Joey Barton joins Burnley: Ex-QPR midfielder signs one-year deal, immediately regrets tweet criticising living the Lancashire town last year
Manchester United transfer news: United 'make £21.9m bid' for Lazio's Felipe Anderson
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Manchester United to 'make goalkeeper suffer' before deciding his fate as Real prepare £29.3m bid
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 3 Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 How the NHS is being dismantled in 10 easy steps
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser