Sources have told ESPN that the LaLiga club has rejected Barcelona’s request to sign Jaffe as a first-team player on a new and improved contract.
The 18-year-old midfielder agreed terms in September on a new deal to keep him at the Camp Nou until 2026, including a €1bn release clause.
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Barcelona filed the papers with the league on Wednesday, hoping to officially register Jaffe with the first team before the end of the January transfer window next week.
So far – despite playing with the first team since 2021 – the Spain international has technically remained a youth team player.
Sources told ESPN that La Liga rejected Barcelona’s request, because the club did not have room to sign Javi within the team’s spending limit.
Sources said the decision should not come as a surprise, as the club was aware it did not have much wiggle room.
Barcelona had hoped the departures of defender Gerard Pique – who retired in November – and striker Memphis Depay, who joined Atletico Madrid, would create enough room on their pay bill, but La Liga says more action is needed.
In addition to Gavi, Ronald Araujo’s contract – agreed in April 2022 – has yet to be registered in LaLiga.
Sources have told ESPN that both players are confident the club can sort out the issue soon.
Barcelona’s spending limit has been significantly reduced due to the club’s financial stress in recent years.
The club sold off a series of assets last year – 25% of local TV rights over the next 25 years and a 49% stake in Barca Studios – in a bid to improve the situation and score their summer deals.
This has increased their spending cap by around €800m, but given the scale of the problem, it is still tight.
Gavi has become a key player for Barcelona and Spain over the past two years.
He played 17 league matches with Barcelona this season, and won the 2022 Golden Boy award for the best player in Europe under the age of 21.