The Blaugrana acquired the Leganes forward outside of the regular transfer window – but will he be allowed to compete in European competition?
Barcelona bought Braithwaite from Leganes for €18 million (£15m/$19m) on February 20 as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who is set to miss out on the rest of the season after undergoing surgery .
France international Dembele had been recovering from a hamstring injury when he suffered another setback – leading the Liga side to sign a fresh forward on an emergency basis
But will Braithwaite be able to compete in the Champions League as he is a late signing?
Can Braithwaite play in the Champions League?
Braithwaite is unable to play in the Champions League, as he arrived at Barcelona after the European competitions deadline for new player registrations (February 3).
Clubs are typically allowed to register three new signings for the knockout phases of the Champions League, but Braithwaite will not be able to compete as he was acquired after the registration deadline.
Barcelona were allowed to sign the Denmark international after the transfer window closed because of an exemption granted to them by La Liga and the Spanish football association (RFEF) after Dembele’s season-ending injury.
According to regulations, when a player is sidelined for five or more months, the club are allowed to sign an emergency transfer outside of the regular transfer window.
The Catalan side were then given permission to sign former Middlesbrough forward Braithwaite as the rules state that a player can be signed should they be a free agent or playing for another club in the Spanish top flight.
Then, since they had to replace Dembele, a forward, the signing had to be made for the same position.
Leganes had felt that they were given a cruel hand as they had to lose a crucial player halfway through the season without being able to sign a replacement.
Braithwaite was Leganes’ top scorer with six goals, with Leganes general director Martin Ortega telling reporters: “We consider that there is a regulation that is unfair, from which Barcelona has benefited. The one who is damaged by this is Leganes.”
Barcelona will miss the absence of the forward from European competition, with the Catalan side eager to lift their first Champions League title since 2015.