Report: Christensen, Kessie could leave Barcelona if not registered in time

Europa Press Sports / Europa Press / Getty

Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie have escape clauses in their contracts that allow them to leave Barcelona if the club fails to register them before their first match of the La Liga season on Saturday, sources told ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

Christensen and Kessie, along with fellow summer signings Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Jules Kounde, are waiting for La Liga to rubber-stamp their contracts while Barcelona attempt to satisfy the league's financial regulations. Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele, who signed new contracts in the summer, are also in limbo.

So far, it seems unlikely Christensen and Kessie would act to terminate their contracts. Barcelona reportedly believe they have until the end of the month to register all seven players.

La Liga's salary cap is fluid, meaning there's no set limit each club must follow. Instead, the Spanish league calculates the amount teams are allowed to spend on salaries and transfer fees based on their total income for the year.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta expressed confidence during Lewandowski's first press conference last week that the club would register all outstanding players.

The Blaugrana could also sell midfielder Frenkie de Jong to shore up its coffers. If they can't find another club for De Jong, they could ask the Dutchman to take a pay cut and forgo the salary he agreed to defer during the height of the pandemic.

Barcelona are also in talks with Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets to reduce their salaries, according to Marsden and Llorens.

The club raised an estimated €667 million by trading away future income from domestic television rights for the next 25 years. It also sold 24.5% of its in-house production studio and signed a new sponsorship agreement with streaming service Spotify.

However, a portion of the sale of TV rights includes money the Catalan side paid to itself, according to The Guardian's Sid Lowe. Investment firm Sixth Street purchased 25% of Barcelona's TV income using a holding company it set up with the club, which contributed €150 million to the total purchase price. La Liga reportedly flagged the amount and reduced the total raised by the sale to €517 million, further tightening Barcelona's salary cap and forcing them to raise more funds.

Barcelona are now looking to sell off another 24.5% of their production studio to create enough of a margin for them to register the remaining seven players, according to Lowe.

Last season, Barcelona's spending limit was minus-€144 million, leaving them with no choice but to mortgage the future to settle their current finances.

Report: Christensen, Kessie could leave Barcelona if not registered in time
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