Reported Liverpool target who could move on a free sees shirt number stripped after court ruling

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One reported Liverpool transfer target has seen his shirt number altered online, following on from a court’s ruling.

According to The Times, the Reds have been ‘keeping an eye on’ Barcelona midfielder Gavi, who’s been at the centre of a legal wrangle between his club and LaLiga.

Earlier this month, Spanish outlet Relevo reported that the teenager’s registration at the club has been ‘overturned’ by a judge as they missed the deadline to file their appeal, which has now seen him deemed an academy player rather than a first team squad member in the eyes of the league.

As per talkSPORT, the 18-year-old signed a lucrative contract last September, but LaLiga have refused to ratify the deal due to the club’s ongoing financial issues.

As a result, he could potentially leave for free in the summer, instead of prospective suitors like Liverpool needing to pay the €1bn (£866m) release clause which had been agreed in the player’s first team contract.

The report from talkSPORT also noted that Gavi has now been stripped of the number 6 shirt he had assumed earlier in the season and will instead revert to his previous number 30.

Furthermore, the LaLiga website lists his statistics at youth level from this season, rather than those with the first team, a sign of their refusal to recognise his senior status.

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This whole episode would appear to lessen Barcelona’s chances of keeping one of the brightest young prospects in world football.

If the club are to hand the 18-year-old a wage packet to go along with his performance levels, they’d need to free up funds elsewhere. That could prove difficult after several first team players recently agreed new contracts (talkSPORT).

If Gavi – who’s already made more than 100 senior appearances for club and country combined (Transfermarkt) – perhaps feels his employers can’t provide him with the contract he may expect, that could open the door for Liverpool to pounce.

To contextualise just how highly the Barcelona gem is regarded, he ranked fifth in an ESPN list of the world’s best players aged 21 or under, compiled by football scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen.

That puts him ahead of names such as Eduardo Camavinga (Champions League winner), Gabriel Martinelli (potentially a Premier League winner this year) and reported Reds target Josko Gvardiol.

It’d be an extraordinary coup if Liverpool were able to procure such a massive talent on a free transfer, and one can only wonder what he makes of the whole mess surrounding his registration at Camp Nou.

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