Barcelona face the possibility of not being able to register Lionel Messi for play in LaLiga until January 2022, ESPN reports.
The Catalans are looking for ways to reduce their wage bill, to align with LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.
If they can’t, they risk not being able to register Messi’s new contract or new arrivals, Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal.
Barca have until the end of the transfer window on August 31 to submit Messi’s deal and their new signings to LaLiga, but internally, the club wants everything resolved before August 15, when they kick off their league campaign at home to Real Sociedad.
The League president, Javier Tebas, is adamant he will not relax the rules for Barcelona.
A failure to get their finances in order could see Messi, if he signs the five-year deal he has already agreed, unable to play until at least January, as happened with Getafe midfielder, Pedro Leon in 2014.