Douglas transfer hangs in the balance
Barcelona and São Paolo had both apparently forgotten the transfer market in Brazil is closed, preventing player from rejoining on loan.
The six-million-euro transfer of defender Douglas from São Paolo to Barcelona has encountered "a small problem," according to the Brazilian club's vice president, Ataíde Gil Guerreiro.
Brazilian website UOL also reported on Friday São Paolo president Carlos Miguel Aidar as saying "it's possible the deal won't go through."
The stumbling block is that Barcelona wanted to sign the right back this summer and loan him back to São Paolo until the 2015-16 season as a way of circumventing the ban imposed upon the club preventing it from any transfer business until January 2016. The ban comes into effect at the end of the current window on September 1. However, both clubs appear to have forgotten that the transfer market in Brazil is currently closed, meaning that São Paolo cannot sell and then re-register Douglas for the remainder of the Brazilian season. The only options available are for the player to move to Barcelona in this transfer window or be loaned to another European club.
Barça's chief negotiator, Raúl Sanllehí, was expected to travel to Brazil on Wednesday to finalize the deal and the São Paolo's board had spoken publicly about the transfer being agreed. But a transfer that had astonished many observers – who doubted Douglas was the calibre of player normally associated with Barcelona – now appears to have been shelved definitively.