Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid handed transfer bans
Spanish giants Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been banned from registering players for the next two transfer windows.
They have been punished by world governing body Fifa for breaching rules over the transfer of minors – both clubs say they will appeal.
The ban does not cover the current January transfer window.
Atletico were fined 900,000 Swiss francs (622,000), while Real were told to pay 360,000 (249,000).
Real said that the claim that they had signed foreign players under the age of 18 without being properly registered was “absolutely untrue”.
“Real Madrid will appeal this decision of Fifa in all the sporting incidents, considering them absolutely inappropriate,” Real said.
Atletico said: “Our club is not in agreement with the sanction from international football’s governing body and will study all the documentation we’ve received to present an appeal against the sanction.”
Barcelona were given the same penalty in April 2014 for also breaching rules on the transfer of under-18 players.
Their ban, which ended this month, did not stop the La Liga side from signing players.
They bought Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal in the summer of 2015, though both players were prevented from playing until the current window opened.
The next two transfer windows are July/August 2016 and January 2017.
Where does this leave Real Madrid?
BBC Sport’s Simon Stone: “David de Gea, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero.
“All four have been linked with transfers involving Real Madrid, all four – and anyone else for that matter – could be affected by today’s announcement.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale
Could the transfer ban have an impact on the futures of Ronaldo and Bale?
“If they want to revive their interest in De Gea, whose deadline-day transfer from Manchester United last summer collapsed as the paperwork was not completed on time, or pursue Manchester City striker Aguero, Real will do so knowing they could not play until the 2017-18 season.
“Equally, if they decide to sell a Galactico in Ronaldo or Bale, both of whom have been linked with Manchester United, Real know they cannot then bring in a high-profile replacement and immediately play them.
“On the face of it, it leaves the Spanish superpower in a state of flux, with new coach Zinedine Zidane only able to promote from within.
“Quite handy, therefore, they have secured 19-year-old Marco Asensio (currently on loan at Espanyol) from Mallorca, Jesus Vallejo, 19, who has returned to Real Zaragoza on loan and 17-year-old Norwegian Martin Odegaard from Stromsgodset.
“Odegaard is now in the Real Madrid B team Zidane managed before replacing Rafael Benitez as coach of the main side.