Barcelona have been told to either reduce their costs or generate income to be active in the summer transfer market.
La Liga have told the Nou Camp side that they will not be able to sign players unless they shift some members of their squad or renegotiate contracts with players.
Barcelona have had their spending limit capped to -£121 million, the only club in La Liga and Spain’s second tier to have a negative cap.
La Liga outlined each team’s summer spending ability on Monday with Barcelona told they cannot bring in players unless they take action to bring money into the club through player sales.
Erling Haaland, the Borussia Dortmund sensation, has been linked with a move to Catalonia but any deal now looks in serious doubt.
Aston Villa will be watching the situation with interest as Philippe Coutinho continues to shine at Villa Park on loan from Barcelona.
Villa have an option to sign Coutinho on a permanent deal for £33 million at the end of the season but the player would agree to the move.
“To make signings Barcelona have to reduce the costs they have now or bring in more income, there’s no other way,” La Liga’s director general Javier Gomez said.
“Barcelona’s losses are greater than their capacity to bring in income.”
Villa taking up their option would not only generate a big cash boost for Barcelona, but it would get his massive contract off their books.
Though, they may look to keep the player if he continues his superb form having looked a shadow of the player that joined Barcelona from Liverpool for £142m four years ago.
It is an uncertain situation for Barcelona and Coutinho, with Xavi’s side unlikely to be keen to lose the player if they cannot bolster their ranks permanently.
However, a raft of signings in January after Coutinho’s exit has coincided with an upturn in form with Barcelona up to third in La Liga.
Gerrard and Villa are keen on signing Coutinho, who has scored four times and registered three assists in nine matches back in the Premier League.
“I think you all know what my decision would be,” Gerrard said.
“I think you all know what I think of him but this is not as straightforward as people think.
“There is obviously an option in place, Barcelona still own the player.
“Phil has got to obviously want to be here in terms of the big picture but he is enjoying his football and looks happy and settled.
“I know the owners are very ambitious, so we will just analyse it as we go along.
“But if it was totally on me and it was my cash you know what I would do.”