Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie could leave Barcelona without even kicking a ball competitively.
It’s been a very busy transfer window at the Camp Nou with Barca making a number of high-profile signings, including striker Robert Lewandowski and defender Jules Kounde, who was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, despite financial struggles engulfing the club.
Christensen and Kessie joined on free transfers after seeing out their contracts with Chelsea and AC Milan respectively, but could leave for absolutely nothing this summer.
ESPN reports neither player has been registered with to play in LaLiga, three days before Barca’s league campaign gets started.
The report adds that if the pair are not registered prior to Barcelona‘s opening match against Rayo Vallecano on 13 August then they have a right to execute a clause in their contracts that allows them to leave for free.
ESPN also say Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde are not yet registered to play in Spain’s top flight, while the contract renewals signed by Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele haven’t been registered either.
However, Christensen and Kessie’s situations are different as they joined the club for nothing and can choose to leave on a free before the transfer window closes.
The report says there’s no indication it will come to that and president Joan Laporta is optimistic that all seven players will be registered in time.
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In the worst case scenario Barca would seek to speak with the players’ agents to avoid the extreme outcome as they have until the end of August to register signings.
Barca have spent more than £137million this summer but are understood to have raised over €600m (around £506m) by selling 25 per cent of their domestic television rights for 25 years and a 24.5 per cent stake in Barca studios.
But ESPN says this is still not enough incoming for Barcelona to be able to register all of their signings and contract renewals, although some could be registered now. This would depend on the cost and combination of the deals.
The club are looking to sell a further 24.5 per cent stake in Barca Studios and continue to negotiate wage adjustments with other players, including Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique.
It’s understood Pique’s wage cut last summer allowed Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia to be registered on the eve of last season, while Busquets and Jordi Alba taking cuts allowed Sergio Aguero to be signed up before the transfer window closed.
Barcelona’s spending cap, imposed by LaLiga, was -€144m at the end of last season, the only negative limit in the league, and will have to be increased substantially to register all their summer activity.
They hope that the sale of club assets, coupled with a sponsorship deal signed with Spotify earlier in 2022, will eventually increase their cap in order to allow them to register every player.
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