Premier League • England

Liverpool battling Man City for signing of the century after judge’s ruling sparks incredible opening

Barcelona trio Pedri, Gavi and Robert Lewandowski

A Spanish judge’s ruling has thrown Barcelona into turmoil and opened up the possibility of Liverpool or Man City signing one of their superstars without having to pay a fee, per reports.

Barcelona’s financial strife has been well documented in recent times. As a result, LaLiga president, Javier Tebas, has ordered the Spanish giant to shed around €200m off their wage book ahead of the next campaign.

One player Xavi’s side had tied down to a lucrative new deal was 18-year-old midfielder Gavi.

The teenage superstar already has a hefty 17 caps for Spain to his name and is widely viewed among the world’s best midfielders already. Along with fellow youngster Pedri, Barcelona’s future was believed to be in safe hands.

However, according to the multiple reports including from the Times, a recent ruling has resulted in the possibility Gavi’s latest contract will be ruled null and void.

Per Forbes, Gavi’s contract – signed in September – has been suspended. The outlet stated: ‘Barcelona’s Commercial Court has lifted the precautionary measure which forced LaLiga to register Gavi’s new deal’

Per the report, the action was taken due to Barcelona filing their claim after a deadline had passed.

Gavi’s contract contained an eye-watering €1billion release clause and bumped his salary up to around £135,000-week. However, he’s now reverted to his youth contract and per the reports, is once again available on a free at season’s end.

The Times specifically namecheck Liverpool and Man City as being ready to swoop in if Gavi decides enough is enough in Catalonia.

Both clubs are understood to retain long-term interest in the Spaniard and the latest ruling could be the opening they need to prise Gavi out of the Camp Nou.

As it stands, Gavi can still play for Xavi in Barcelona’s first team. However, he’s now considered a youth team player and Barcelona may be unable to forge a new agreement if LaLiga refuse to ratify a contract before they’ve shed salary.

Gavi has already shown he has the tools to make a major impact in any club’s midfield. He won the prestigious Golden Boy award in 2022 – a prize given to European football’s best player under the age of 21.

The chance to sign such a generational talent at the beginning of his career without having to pay a fee is an opportunity that rarely comes along.

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