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FC Barcelona still unable to register Kounde as player

REUTERS/Albert Gea
New FC Barcelona player Jules Kounde poses for a picture with a club shirt and club ball during the unveiling earlier this month

Barcelona have still not been authorised to register French defender Jules Kounde as a player, one of their marquee summer signings, as the club works to comply with LaLiga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, manager Xavi Hernandez said on Saturday.

“At the moment, we don’t know anything. We are on stand-by,” Xavi told a news conference ahead of their trip to San Sebastian to face Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Barca need to comply with LaLiga’s salary cap rules to register Kounde, and potential sales of strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay could make this possible.

“We are waiting. Kounde is a great leader and a great player. Hopefully he shows it soon – tomorrow, if he can play.

“He has trained very well, I see him in good spirits, but we need to sell players to be able to register him.”

Kounde missed out on Barca’s season debut against Rayo Vallecano after LaLiga prevented the club from registering him alongside his fellow summer signings Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.

“The transfer market ends on Aug. 31 and we don’t know what will happen,” Xavi said.

“Auba and Memphis are still here, so tomorrow we will use them. But the priority is to register Koundé.”

Barca have taken several steps to increase their revenue in order to offset losses, reduce their debt and comply with LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.

They have sold stakes in their audiovisual studio, their licensing and merchandising division and even part of their LaLiga TV income rights to help balance the books.

They also signed a shirt and stadium sponsorship deal with Spotify.

On the other hand, they approved financial plans last December to renovate Camp Nou, including raising an additional 1.5 billion euros in debt.