Gavi Barcelona 2023-24Getty Images

Explained: Gavi's contract dispute with Barcelona, why he lost his shirt number & what happens next

  • Player unable to be registered
  • Barcelona over budget
  • Will need to clear books

WHAT HAPPENED? Gavi signed a massive contract last September to stay at Camp Nou. The deal was set to run for four years and set the teenager's release clause at €1 billion (£866m/$1bn). But due to financial constraints, the Blaugrana were unable to pay his registration fee. Still, Barca took La Liga to court, and after a complicated legal process, were able to hand the midfielder the No.6 shirt, and show him as a first-team player on their club site.

WHAT'S THE HOLD UP WITH HIS NEW CONTRACT? However, Gavi's registration is only temporary, and remains intact based on a court order, rather than the necessary fees being sent through. Barca spent their money elsewhere this summer, and didn't officially seal the player's new contract.

CAN'T THEY JUST SIGN HIM THIS WINTER? The Blaugrana face a tricky decision in January. Still financially constrained, they might, in theory, have enough to afford his registration. However, that could clash with the planned arrival of big-money Brazilian signing Vitor Roque. According to Sport, the Blaugrana won't have the necessary funds to do both - and could potentially delay Roque's arrival in Catalunya.

Article continues below

CAN GAVI LEAVE? Technically, if he doesn't pen a first-team deal, Gavi will be able to leave on a free transfer. Although his contract is temporarily active, a court action could leave him without a proper agreement. The club insist that it will not happen, though.


Gavi Barcelona 2023-24Getty Images

xavi(C)Getty Images

Joan LaportaGetty Images

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Spaniard could still sign his new deal — and Barca insist it will be sorted. But their financial issues have no imminent end. They are behind on a number of payments for past signings, and one of their investors in a deal agreed last summer is yet to provide a promised €40 million (£35m/42m) injection of cash.

WHAT'S NEXT? Barca were able to make some permanent transfer moves last summer, bringing in Oriol Romeu, Inigo Martinez and Ilkay Gundogan on multi-year deals, they will face issues in the potential purchases of loanees Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix — both of which have enjoyed impressive starts to their Barca careers. With Gavi and Roque also yet to be sorted, things are still complicated in Catalunya