It could prove a busy January transfer window for La Liga’s two Madrid-based clubs, with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid having each been hit by 18-month transfer bans. While both clubs will still be permitted to sign players in the current window, they will be barred from signing anyone in the next two windows.
The two Madrid outfits are being penalized by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for violating provisions related to the international transfer of players under the age of 18.
According to a statement by FIFA, Atleti and Real are in violation of articles “5, 9, 19 and 19bis as well as annexes 2 and 3 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (the ‘Regulations’).”
Both clubs had been under ongoing investigation by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee over matters related to underage players “who were involved and participated in competitions with the clubs over various periods between 2007 and 2014 (Atletico de Madrid) and between 2005 and 2014 (Real Madrid).”
Real and Atleti have also been hit with heavy fines and given 90 days to “regularize the situation of all minor players concerned.”
Atletico, who currently top the table in Spain, have already announced they will launch an appeal against the ban.
Real Madrid, who are just behind Barçelona in third place, have not yet said whether or not they intend to appeal, but are expected to.
Under the provisions of the ban, neither club will be able to register a new player until the summer of 2017. Barcelona were hit with a similar ban in the summer of 2014 and have only just regained the ability to sign new players this month.
But just as Barça were able to do in the case of Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, Atleti and Real will be able to sign players during the ban; they just won’t be allowed to register them to play.
Real Madrid had been linked with a number of high-profile transfer targets in the upcoming summer window, including Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard.
Atleti will have to curtail their usual practice of selling off their best players and replacing them with inexpensive alternatives. French attacker Antoine Griezmann is currently being scouted by several top clubs in Europe but is now unlikely to be allowed to leave.
Meanwhile, there are still two weeks remaining in the current transfer window during which the two clubs will be permitted to sign and register players.
Both clubs will be back in action this Sunday as Real Madrid welcome Sporting Gijon to the Santiago Bernabeu, and Atleti travel to the Gran Canaria to face Las Palmas.