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Barcelona worry over player, signing registrations

Barcelona are finding it more difficult than expected to find the necessary financing to be able to register their new signings and contract renewals, sources have told ESPN, with one source acknowledging to “concerns” less than two weeks before the LaLiga season kicks off.

Last summer the Catalan club sold off various assets — referring to them as financial “levers” — to be able to register their new signings.

Among them, they sold 49% of the club’s content creation hub Barca Studios to two buyers, socios.com (24.5%) and Orpheus Media (24.5%).

However the two firms subsequently re-negotiated the terms of those deals, and Barca have now spent several weeks looking for an alternative buyer for part of that percentage of Barca Studios.

Last week, the club briefed that they were on the brink of closing a deal with a German company to purchase 16% of Barca Studios for €65 million ($71m).

The confirmation of that agreement has taken longer than expected, and Catalan Television has now reported that the Germans have withdrawn their offer.

Sources have told ESPN that the deal is not definitively off, saying that work to reach a satisfactory agreement for both parties is ongoing.

However according to sources, there were “concerns” that with less than two weeks to go until the 2023-24 season kicks off, coach Xavi Hernandez would only have 13 players available.

Midfielder Gavi — who has not been able to feature so far in preseason due to a back problem — is registered with LaLiga as a first-team player thanks to a court ruling, but the club have been unable to register other players who have renewed in recent months such as Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto or Marcos Alonso.

Xavi would also be unable to field Barca’s three new signings, Ilkay Gündogan, Iñigo Martínez and Oriol Romeu, while talks are continuing with Paris Saint-Germain over the transfer of Ousmane Dembélé for €50m.

Steve Carr

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