Georginio Wijnaldum's future has been thrown into confusion after Barcelona were banned by La Liga rulers from signing the Kop star.
New Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman had identified Liverpool title-winning midfielder Wijnaldum as his number one priority along with fellow Dutch striker Memphis Depay from Lyon with both stars in the last year of contracts.
But Barcelona's dire financial crisis has forced them to shelve plans to sign Wijnaldum with the Spanish league's governing body stepping in to block the move.
La Liga clubs are operating under strict financial guidelines following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Barcelona are struggling with a £510million-a-year wage bill and will not be allowed to buy Wijnaldum and Depay unless they raise the money with player sales first.
They must also pay the same amount as the transfer fee to the Spanish government following financial help given to clubs during the health crisis.
La Liga has given every club in the top division a limit of how much they can spend on transfers and staff dependent on their financial results in the past five years.
Joris Evers, La Liga's director of communications, says: “We have a financial system, which goes beyond UEFA’s Financial Fair Play.
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"At UEFA they look at figures when a season is finished, we set the standards before the season starts.
“If Barcelona try to do a deal behind the scenes, our analysts will notice this immediately.
“The clubs agreed on this system as a reaction on a period when they were struggling to pay the wages of the players, because they'd overspent time and time again. Nobody wants to go back to that situation.’’
The covid crisis has cost Barcelona £300million in six months with Nou Camp stars asked to hand back up to 70 per cent of their salaries.
Barcelona are believed to have already agreed personal terms with Wijnaldum and Depay, who were both keen to join up with former Holland boss Koeman in Spain.
But with Lionel Messi now staying, the Spanish giants have not got the cash to finance the deals without selling more big names.
And that means Wijnaldum may have to stay at Anfield this season before moving on a free to Barcelona next May.
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