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Barcelona youngster ineligible to play in Copa del Rey clash vs CF Intercity – report

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

According to a report from Tot Costa, Barcelona have been informed by RFEF that goalkeeper Inaki Pena is ineligible to feature against CF Intercity in the Copa del Rey clash tomorrow.

Barcelona take on the RFEF First Division side in the Round of 32 of the Copa del Rey encounter on Wednesday night. And reports suggested that Inaki Pena was certain to start in the contest.

It would have been a special occasion for the 23-year-old as he would be making his Copa del Rey debut in Alicante, the region where he was born.

However, as per the aforementioned report, Barcelona have been informed by the governing body that they cannot field Pena in the Copa del Rey encounter.

This is because the goalkeeper, who is 23 years old, is still registered on a subsidiary contract with Barcelona and does not have a first-team record.

As per the rules, players who are 23 or older and are still on a subsidiary record, are ineligible to play for the senior team in Copa del Rey as well as the Spanish Super Cup until they are registered with a first-team contract.

This development comes as a big blow for Barcelona and Pena as the club were hoping to give the youngster some minutes in the cup competitions.

The Spaniard has made just one senior appearance for the Blaugrana thus far, which came in the UEFA Champions League encounter against Viktoria Plzen.

Given how good Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been this season, it is near-impossible for Pena to dislodge the German international in the starting XI in La Liga and European encounters.

Thus the Copa del Rey was seen as an avenue for Xavi to grant him game-time. But that is now seemingly off the table as Barcelona have been told they cannot field Pena in the cup tie as long as he with a reserve record.

Pena’s current contract with Barça expires at the end of the season and a new deal is about to be finalised. However, until it is signed and the youngster is successfully registered as a first-team member, it seems that he cannot represent the club in Copa del Rey.

As per a fresh update from Adria Albets, Barcelona have sent in the documentation to make Pena a first-team player yesterday. So there is some hope that they could receive clearance on the same today, which would allow them to use Pena for the cup matches.

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