The impending departures of both Victor Valdes and Carles Puyol from Barcelona just got a whole lot more significant for the club with the news that FIFA has banned them from making signings for the next two windows.
Football's governing body issued the ban for the following reasons:
The RFEF and FC Barcelona were found to have violated several provisions concerning the international transfer and first registration of non-Spanish minors with the club, as well as other relevant regulations with regard to the registration and participation of certain players in national competitions. The investigations concerned several minor players who were registered and participated in competitions with the club over various periods between 2009 and 2013.
Barca have also been fined approximately €370,000 by FIFA.
The Disciplinary Committee regarded the infringements as serious and decided to sanction the club with a transfer ban at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods, together with a fine of CHF 450,000.
All this means Barca will not be able to sign players until the summer of 2015. That youth academy had better get producin'.
You can read the full FIFA statement on the ban here.