Barcelona handed transfer ban, possibly altering the potential market for David Luiz

David Ramos

FIFA has levied sanctions against the Catalan club for violations that did not involve Neymar

FC Barcelona were sanctioned by FIFA today, receiving a two-window transfer ban and a fairly hefty fine. The sanctions appear to based on the recruitment of 10 international U18 players:

With regard to the case in question, FC Barcelona has been found to be in breach of art. 19 of the Regulations in the case of ten minor players and to have committed several other concurrent infringements in the context of other players, including under Annexe 2 of the Regulations.

As many here will remember, Chelsea were handed a similar ban because of violations in recruiting Gael Kakuta. The club appealed the ruling to CAS, had it suspended, and then settled the issue with Kakuta's club outside of a courtroom. While Barcelona will almost certainly appeal this ruling and be handed a temporary stay of execution, this doesn't initially sound like a situation where they'll be able to negotiate the appeal away.

While Barca's issues don't really have much to do with Chelsea, the rumors that David Luiz is no longer in our long term plans combined with a clear interest from the Spanish club make this a situation worth watching. Should Barca's ban not be appealed or suspended, this almost certainly takes them out of any market for the Brazilian, assuming there ever was one to begin with. Should the ban be suspended until the appeal can be heard, it could lead to some desperate bidding knowing that a future ban is still looming, as Barcelona is extremely weak in the center of the defense, and would have to find reinforcement this summer.

If we didn't think this was going to be a crazy summer already, things just got a bit more interesting than they were before.

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