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Barcelona ban latest: transfer embargo upheld by FIFA

Barcelona, 5/4 to win La Liga this term, have seen their appeal against a FIFA imposed transfer ban rejected, and will now take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Barca are prohibited from purchasing new players after this summer market closes shop, which means they will not be able to snap-up top talent for two transfer windows, until January 2016. The European giants have also been fined around £295,000.

FIFA initially served the Catalan club with a 14-month ban for supposedly breaching rules on the transfers of players aged under 18, but the sanctions were temporarily postponed after the Spanish side appealed.

In a statement on their website, Barca stated: “FC Barcelona announces that it shall continue defending its interests before the highest sporting authority, in this case the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“FC Barcelona may not in any way share a resolution that is an affront to the spirit of our Masia, a world renowned example of academic, human and sporting education.”

The news is a serious blow for Barca, who moved quickly to secure top targets before a decision was made. New boss Luis Enrique swooped for £75m man Luis Suarez, but the feisty Uruguayan will not appear in a competitive match for the Catalans until October 26th, after his own biting ban was also upheld.

Enrique has so far pipped competition to the post for Croatian maestro Ivan Rakitic and ex-Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen, with French defender Jeremy Mathieu and Chile stopper Claudio Bravo also added to the superstar squad.

The Nou Camp hierarchy have moved quickly to tie Javier Mascherano to a new contract and also managed to retain the services of Xavi Hernandez, providing themselves with adequate cover.

In light of this verdict, and the previous trophy-less season suffered, Barca may continue with their summer spending splurge to attempt to account for any unforeseen injuries or problems that could arise.

Barcelona may have to sell before they can buy, though, with former Gunners star Alex Song supposedly piquing the interest of Premier League trio Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham.

As for incoming targets, it looks as though flying full back Dani Alves’ contract situation has been considered, with reports that Sao Paulo star Douglas dos Santos is in line to replace his compatriot once his current deal expires. Colombia World Cup star Juan Cuadrado has also been linked heavily with a switch to Enrique’s side.

Barca, 5/1 to lift the Champions League trophy this season, can still plan smartly for the upcoming ban, but may also have to dip into their La Masia production line once more, with highly-rated youngsters Sergi Samper and Adama Traore waiting in the wings.