Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have suffered a huge blow as they will not be able to register players during the next two transfer windows. However, Real and Atletico can sign players in the ongoing January transfer window.
The Spanish clubs were punished by the FIFA for violating rules related to transfer of players under the age of 18.
"The two clubs were found to have violated several provisions concerning international transfer and first registration of minor players as well as other relevant provisions with regard to the registration and participation of certain players in competitions," FIFA said in a statement. "Both clubs are to serve a transfer ban that prevents them from registering any players at national and international level for the next two complete and consecutive registration periods.
"The transfer ban, which does not affect the current registration period at all, given that it opened before the decisions were notified, applies to each club as a whole — with the exception of the women's, futsal and beach soccer teams — and does not prevent the release of players."
With such bans, thinks have taken an interesting turn in the transfer market, which normally does not witness much activity. However, moves such as Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and Bale to Manchester United, which have been strongly rumoured to take shape during the upcoming summer transfer, look less likely unless they are ready to take the risk.
More so than Atletico, Real, who have always been one of the busiest teams in the transfer window, must be hurt with such bans.
Besides Bale and Hazard, other players such as Cristiano Ronaldo have been rumoured for a move away from Real Madrid while the club has also been linked to striker Sergio Aguero and its long-standing desire of signing David De Gea from Manchester United.
Even if Real wants to purse players such as Ronaldo and Bale in January (which looks improbable), they might have to think multiple times before coming to any decision as they will also be aware that the club will not be able to replace players of such quality in the January transfer window. With Zinedine Zidane as a new manager of Real Madrid, the Frenchman will not want to part ways with such stars so early on, despite the money Real might make.
So, all in all, it seems Real might not sell their Galactico players, nor sign any as well. Zidane might have to focus on the players he has, and also look for some young guns in the youth teams and promote them to the senior level.
However, Real and Atletico, who are aware of the importance of strengthening the squad each and every season, are set to appeal about the bans imposed on them and see what can be done with it.
"Real Madrid will appeal this decision of Fifa in all the sporting incidents, considering them absolutely inappropriate," read a statement on Real's official website.