BARCELONA boss Xavi still doesn’t know whether he will be able to field his new star signings for tomorrow’s LaLiga curtain raiser against Rayo Vallecano.
The poverty-pleading Catalan giants have had a baffling summer – shelling out £138million on new transfers despite not fully paying their own players.
Due to LaLiga financial rules, new signings – including contract renewals – cannot be registered with the league until certain financial requirements are met.
So while Barca have shelled out on plenty of new players, none of them are eligible to play yet.
New-boys Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen are all sweating on whether they will be registered in time.
While Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto are also ineligible as it stands after renewing their deals earlier in the summer.
Xavi’s squad have virtually a clean bill of health, with only Ferran Torres missing through injury.
But the 42-year-old may still have to field a much-weakened XI.
Should they not register their star signings in time, they will at least be able to depend upon Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal.
But with no Kounde or Christensen, Xavi may have to pick a back four comprising of Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, Eric Garcia and Jordi Alba – although Gerard Pique could be involved.
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Sergio Busquets would anchor the midfield, with Pedri and potentially Frenkie de Jong – a man Barca are accused of trying to bully out of the club – alongside him.
The Dutchman, however, might be held out as transfer speculation rumbles.
Another heavily linked with an exit in Memphis Depay could start as a makeshift right winger, with Ansu Fati on the left and Chelsea target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang upfront.
Barcelona have today announced the sale of 25 per cent of Barca Studios to Orpheus Media for £85m.
Club president Joan Laporta believes that this will enable him to register his new buys, while also recruiting another player in Marcos Alonso.
Should this be the case, Barca’s XI will look rather more fearsome tomorrow.
Christensen and Kounde could start in place of Araujo and Garcia – with Roberto instead of Dest at right-back.
Kessie may debut in midfield, with Dembele, Lewandowski and Raphinha forming a potentially devastating front three.