Paul Hayes: Newport County suffer ex-Wycombe striker registration blow
Newport County will not be able to play new recruit Paul Hayes until January 2018 due to registration regulations.
The League Two side signed the striker in October on a free transfer after he left Wycombe Wanderers in August.
But the Football League has confirmed the 34-year-old's registration cannot be formerly processed until the opening of the January transfer window.
Former Norwich City trainee Hayes has made nearly 600 league and cup appearances during his career.
He has scored 145 goals and had three spells at Scunthorpe United.
Newport manager Mike Flynn says the news took everyone by surprise: "It wasn't something we were aware of.
"The club has done everything we could and what's gone on has been a problem for other clubs as well.
"We have to go through the process to find out whether his registration or his contract was hampering us... there's different rules for the National League and below to the Football League which have just changed."
Hayes had been approached by Newport via an internet networking service.
The player had said at the time: "Maybe social media is the way forward for transfers these days!"
Newport say Hayes' contract "has been amended to reflect the situation" and he is expected to train with the Exiles to ensure he is fit and available for selection from January.