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

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.

CARLES PUYOL

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.

Rumoured replacements

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.

VICTOR VALDES

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 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.

Rumoured replacements

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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory