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SOCCER

Barcelona face 11th hour battle to avoid losing Kessié and Christensen

The former Milan and Chelsea players, who arrived at Barcelona on free transfers, may be forced to leave again if they cannot be registered.

Update:
Franck Kessié of FC Barcelona during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Pumas UNAM at Spotify Camp Nou on August 07, 2022.
Eric AlonsoGetty

With just a couple of days to go before Barcelona’s first official match of the season, the Camp Nou hierarchy are racing against time to register the players signed during the summer. In the case of two of them - Franck Kessié and Andreas Christensen - Barça’s problems are exacerbated by clauses in their contracts specifying that if they cannot be registered they will be free to negotiate with other clubs.

The existence of these clauses was revealed by ESPN, who reported that both Kessié and Christensen, who arrived on free transfers from AC Milan and Chelsea respectively, have clauses written into their contracts stating that in the case they are not registered in time for Barça’s first LaLiga fixture, the contracts would be considered invalid. The deadline to register players for LaLiga expires on 1 September, giving Barça some breathing space with other new arrivals, but in the case of Kessié and Christensen the opening Liga fixture of the season is specified as the deadline.

Barcelona optimistic over Kessié and Christensen

Barcelona remain optimistic that there will be a resolution of the registrations in question, as well as those of the other new arrivals this summer, among them Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Koundé, who arrived for a combined fee of over €150 million. In the case that Kessié and Christensen are not registered by Saturday, Barça feel there is room for negotiation with the players’ agents to avoid a swift departure for two players who have integrated perfectly into Xavi Hernández’s squad.

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