Leganés denied request to sign a player out of window
MADRID (AP) — A request by Spanish club Leganés to replace a player signed recently by Barcelona was denied Thursday by the country’s soccer federation.
The Spanish league and the federation allowed Barcelona a “long-term injury” dispensation to sign a player from another Spanish league team outside the transfer period to fill in for Ousmane Dembele, who had been ruled out for several months with a leg injury.
Barcelona used the dispensation to trigger the 18 million euro ($19.4 million) buyout clause in Martin Braithwaite’s contract with Leganés last week, almost three weeks after the transfer window had closed.
Braithwaite was Leganés’ best attacking player, and the club did not want him to leave.
While Barcelona is leading the league, its modest rival from Madrid is fighting to avoid relegation.
Leganés said in a statement that the decision was “unfair” and “tainted the competition and the right of all clubs to compete under the same conditions.”
The federation said that it had consulted FIFA regarding Leganés’s request, but that there were no grounds to grant a club a dispensation to sign a replacement for a player that had left when his buyout clause had been triggered.
The federation said that if it were to allow Leganés to sign a player from another club, it would “lead to a chain of transfers outside the official window.”