Lionel Messi may not be able to play for Barcelona until January because of the club's dire financial predicament.
Messi is reported to have agreed a new five-year contract that will see him take a 50 percent pay cut after his deal at the Nou Camp expired on June 30.
According to ESPN, in order to register the new deal for Messi, Barca need to iron out their finances and make significant reductions to their wage bill.
Although they have until August 31, transfer deadline day, to submit Messi's contract, the Blaugrana want everything sorted before they begin the league campaign against Real Sociedad on August 15.
If they do not comply with the spending rules which La Liga chief Javier Tebas is refusing to relax, they risk not having Messi available for selection until the start of 2022.
The same would apply to new signings Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson Royal.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago