BOTH Real Madrid and their city rivals Atletico will be barred from registering new signings as FIFA punishes the clubs for breaching its rules on the “international transfer and first registration of minor players”.
The move means that neither club will be able to register new players after the current January transfer window expires until the summer of 2017.
According to a FIFA spokesperson “The ban does not prevent the clubs from signing contracts with new players, as long as the players are not being registered to play for the club.”
A statement from the football governing body said “The investigations concerned minor players who were involved and participated in competitions with the clubs over various periods between 2007 and 2014 (Atlético Madrid) and between 2005 and 2014 (Real Madrid).”
Both clubs intend to appeal the decision, with the Real hierarchy describing the ruling as “absolutely unacceptable”.
Barcelona faced a similar situation in 2014 and were unable to sign players for a full two transfer windows after failing in their appeal.
That precedent will not be heartening for a Real board which has had its sights set on Manchester United’s David De Gea and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.