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?
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing