Barcelona missed out on signing Mexican right back Julian Araujo because it was 18 seconds late turning in his transfer documentation.
Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany said Wednesday that a “system error” caused the club to miss the midnight deadline at the end of the transfer window Tuesday.
Alemany said the club was talking to FIFA to see if the transfer could still be completed.
The 21-year-old Araujo was born in the United States and would transfer from the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer.
Alemany said the club planned to bring Araujo to be initially used at Barcelona’s “B” squad.
Still struggling to comply with the Spanish league’s strict financial fair-play rules, Barcelona did not make any additions to its squad at the transfer window, but it was able to give young star Gavi a first-team contract.
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The Catalan club cleared some salary cap room with the retirement of veteran defender Gerard Piqué and the departures of forward Memphis Depay to Atletico Madrid and defender Héctor Bellerín to Sporting Lisbon.
“The three departures brought us significant economic savings,” Alemany told Movistar.