ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - OCTOBER 20: The FIFA logo is seen outside the FIFA headquarters prior to the FIFA Executive Committee Meeting on October 20, 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. During their third meeting of the year, held over two days, the FIFA Executive Committee will approve the match schedules for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

FIFA Blocks LA Galaxy Defender’s Barcelona Transfer

LA Galaxy’s technical mishap felt strange for many, but for Julian Araujo it was heartbreaking. Araujo watched his dream move slip away, which for any player would be should crushing. An error could potentially change the course of his career, stranding the player in Major League soccer limbo.

The Los Angeles Galaxy defender’s move to La Liga club Barcelona has been called off after transfer paperwork was filed late.

Araujo was initially scheduled to move to the Spanish side on loan with an option to buy, but Barcelona reportedly changed the transfer agreement at the last minute. Barcelona decided they wanted to purchase stake in the player, buying 50% of Araujo’s rights for €2 million with an option for another 40% of his rights for another €2 million at a later date. This would have left Los Angeles with 10% of the right back’s rights, operating like a sell-on clause.

The last-second change of plans meant that LA Galaxy scrambled to get everything done on time. This, in addition to what Barcelona director of football Mateu Alemany described as a “system error”, caused the two sides to miss the transfer deadline by just 18 seconds. For reference, it would take more time to wipe all the dust off your computer screen as you read this.

“FIFA can confirm that the transfer of the player Julian Araujo from LA Galaxy to FC Barcelona was not completed in line with the applicable regulations,” said a FIFA spokesperson to ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

How Araujo Would Have Fit In At Barcelona

The original plan was for Araujo to join Barcelona B due to registration and financial limitations placed on the Spanish club. He would still have been around the first team, and likely would have commanded starts at right back. Barcelona lined up Araujo as their lone right back.

Barcelona’s other right-back, Hector Bellerin, left the club during January’s transfer window after a lack of playing time. He moved to Portuguese side Sporting Club Lisbon.

Jules Kounde and Sergi Roberto served as Barcelona’s primary right-backs throughout the first half of the season. Kounde is a center back by trade, while Roberto serves as Barca’s Swiss army knife, playing a plethora of positions.

Many consider Araujo MLS’s best right back. The defender is a Galaxy staple, starting 33 matches last season. Araujo totaled 5 assists in these matches.

About Connor O'Bryan

Connor O'Bryan is a world soccer reporter for ESPN Gainesville. He also sometimes covers baseball and other sports. He has previously written for WUFT Gainesville and for Atrium Magazine. Connor also cohosts the "Off The Bar Podcast", a student driven podcast that focuses on the global soccer landscape.

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