Leicester face a fight with FIFA to secure the immediate availability of Portugal midfielder Adrien Silva after reportedly missing the deadline to register their new signing by just 14 seconds.
Craig Shakespeare’s side agreed a £22 million ($28 million, 24 million euros) deal with Sporting Lisbon for the 28-year-old on August 31, the final day of the summer transfer window.
But Leicester had to request an extension to complete the necessary paperwork and FIFA are reported to have told the Premier League club they did not receive it in time.
Contacted on Wednesday, FIFA declined to comment further on the matter.
Reports say the relevent email arrived only 14 seconds late, but Leicester insist they returned the signed paperwork before the deadline and are working with Sporting Lisbon and Silva to prove that and reverse the decision.
Should FIFA uphold their decision, it is unlikely Silva will be able to play for Leicester until they could officially register him when the transfer window reopens on January 1, 2018.
France-born Silva’s move hinged on Danny Drinkwater sealing a switch to Chelsea and the window officially closed with Silva at Leicester’s training ground and Drinkwater at Chelsea’s Cobham base.
Drinkwater was announced as a Chelsea player in the early hours of September 1, with Leicester now waiting to see if they can rubber-stamp their Silva swoop.
“We are working with Adrien and Sporting Clube de Portugal to overcome some issues relating to the player’s registration and exploring all options to find a resolution,” a Leicester spokesman said.