THE Spanish FA have confirmed that Leganes are NOT able to sign a replacement for Martin Braithwaite despite being forced to sell the striker to Barcelona.
The Danish striker completed a £15million switch to the Nou Camp last week even though the transfer window was shut.
Barca had been awarded special dispensation to make a new signing from inside the Spanish top-flight after Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for the season.
However Leganes, who lost Braithwaite for a fee stipulated in his release clause, are now blocked from bringing in their own replacement.
A statement from the relegation battlers on Thursday read: "The RFEF (Spanish FA) state that allowing Leganes to sign a player could lead to a series of transfers and signings out of the regular transfer period and thus affecting not only the competition’s integrity but equality among its participants."
The Madrid side were left furious by the decision and made a scathing attack on the rules that allowed Barcelona to buy outside of the window.
They continued: "Leganes reaffirms itself about how unfair this situation is. The current regulation harms the competition’s equality and integrity.
"All clubs should be able to compete as equals and this situation has caused enormous and serious damage to the club."
According to the RFEF, they had no choice as neither they nor FIFA nor LaLiga currently hold any rule allowing a signing to be made as a replacement for a player that has left to cover another team's long-term injury.
Although Leganes have stated that the RFEF intend to remove the rule that enabled Barcelona to sign Braithwaite in the first place.
Braithwaite is not registered to play in the Champions League but made his LaLiga debut for the Catalans on Saturday.
A late appearance off the bench saw the 28-year-old former Middlesbrough man set up two goals in the 5-0 rout of Eibar.
Meanwhile, Leganes lost a relegation six-pointer away to Celta Vigo that leaves them five points from safety.