Barcelona have been cleared to buy and sell players this summer after FIFA suspended its transfer ban on the club.
The Spanish champions were given the 14-month ban after being found guilty of breaching rules on signing international players under the age of 18.
A FIFA statement said: “The chairman of the FIFA appeal committee considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect.”
Barca have been linked with Borussia Monchengladbach keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while they also agreed a deal to sign 17-year-old Croatia midfielder Alen Halilovic.
Captain Carles Puyol and long-serving goalkeeper Victor Valdes have both announced they will leave the Nou Camp at the end of the season and so defensive reinforcements would certainly appear to be a priority this summer.
The Spanish champions were originally issued with a ban for two transfer windows along with a fine of 450,000 Swiss francs
FIFA rules state that international transfers are only permitted for players over the age of 18 – unless the player in question meets one of three qualifying criteria.
Under-18s can move to a club in a different country if their parents move there for non-footballing reasons, if they are from another nation within the European Union or European Economic Area and aged between 16 and 18, or if they live within 100km of the club.
The FIFA investigation centred on several players aged under 18 who were registered and played for Barcelona between 2009 and 2013. The identity of these players has not been revealed.
However, after deciding to appeal the sanction, Barcelona’s suspension has now been put hold.
Hands up who saw that one coming? The world’s most popular club, and in recent years it’s most successful, will, for at least one more transfer window, be permitted to continue with their long-established tradition of buying up the world’s most coveted attacking talent. Who knows, given this timely reprieve, they may even decide to sign a couple more athletic midfielders with a view to converting them into makeshift defenders.
Either way, it’s business as usual at Camp Nou for the next few months.