A judge in Spain has suspended Gavi’s contract registration, which effectively means he can leave FC Barcelona for free this summer.
News of the development was broken by Relevo on Monday afternoon, who said that Barcelona’s Commercial Court has lifted the precautionary measure which forced La Liga to register Gavi’s new deal. This was done because, rather embarrassingly, the club filed its claim after the deadline.
Barca originally took their concerns to court after La Liga blocked them from registering the new terms that Gavi penned last year.
The youngster agreed to stay at Camp Nou until 2026, with any rival club forced to pay a €1 billion ($1.07 billion) release clause to snatch him away beforehand.
A judge previously ruled in Barca’s favor on deadline day in the recent January transfer window, which allowed them to register Gavi’s contract and hand him the iconic number ‘6’ shirt once donned by current head coach Xavi Hernandez.
La Liga president Javier Tebas vowed to appeal against the ruling and has done just that. Yet in a hammer blow to his arch nemesis and Barca counterpart Joan Laporta, Barca have had the justice system turn against them due to filing their claim a day after the deadline and therefore failing to meet Economic Control requirements.
Barca can now appeal against today’s decision too, but Gavi is not registered with the first team as things stand. He can still play for Xavi, however, and will be much needed in Sunday’s edition of El Clasico against Real Madrid that will probably decide the title race.
More worrying in the long-term, however, is that Barca will struggle to make Gavi’s salary, which is rumored to be around €8 million ($8.6 million) a year, fit into Financial Fair Play limits ahead of the 2023/2024 season. Already, Tebas has publicly told them that they must shed €200 million ($214 million) from the wage bill.
Furthermore, it has also been suggested many times that Gavi would be able to leave Barca for free if his contract is not registered and if he and his agent Ivan de la Pena tire of the situation.
This will put European rivals such as Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Chelsea – all said to be attentive to his predicament ahead of the contract renewal – on red alert.