Xavi should be able to call upon winger Ez Abde for Barcelona’s first game of 2022 against Real Mallorca on Sunday, January 2.
Abde has been called up to the Morocco squad for AFCON 2021, but FIFA say players in Europe don’t have to meet up with their national teams until January 3.
The ruling means that Abde should be able to make the squad for the trip to Son Moix and could even continue in the starting XI due to Barca’s injury situation.
Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati, and Martin Braithwaite are not expected back for the game, while Ferran Torres may be signed in time but is unlikely to feature either.
It’s not clear what will happen after that with Abde. There is continuing speculation that Abde would rather stay with Barca than head to the AFCON as he’s just broken into the team.
However, national coach Vahid Halihodzic has made it clear he wants Abde at the tournament and has said he is hoping to come to a “friendly agreement” with Barca.