In Depth

How Atletico Madrid transfer ban affects Griezmann and Bale

Spanish club can't buy players this summer and the impact will be felt in the Premier League

Atletico Madrid will be unable to sign new players over the coming weeks after a Fifa transfer ban was upheld. The decision could throw a spanner in the works for clubs across Europe as they try to recruit during the close season.

The decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is likely to signal the end of Manchester United's efforts to sign Antoine Griezmann. This in turn could impact on the whole transfer carousel.

What's happened to Atletico?

"The Spanish club were banned from making signings for two transfer windows, along with city rivals Real Madrid, by Fifa last year after breaching rules over the transfer of foreign players under the age of 18," says Sky Sports

"CAS have since reduced Real's suspension by a year on appeal, but have decided not to rule in a similar style, leaving Atletico with little choice other than to shelve their summer transfer plans."

Atletico are furious at what they see as unfair treatment but have said they have "full confidence" in their current squad.

What does it mean?

The Spanish side are not allowed to register new players until January 2018, which means no new additions until midway through next season.

It's not completely cut and dried however. "Atletico can still add players to their squad during the summer 2017 window, however, they will not be able to make their debuts until next January," says ESPN

In 2015 Barcelona signed Aleix Vidal and Arda Turan while serving a ban and kept them on ice for six months. But it's not ideal for the player or the team.

Atletico can also bolster their squad by taking back loan players. It will be able to offer new deals to other stars such as Fernando Torres, who is out of contract this summer. 

So what about Griezmann?

Without the ability to replace a key player like Griezmann, Atletico are highly unlikely to agree to his sale this summer.

That deal would have been enormous and is likely to have set in motion a series of other transfers involving some of Europe's biggest clubs.

United could still force a move by triggering Griezmann's £87m buy-out clause, says the Daily Mail. But if he walked out on Atletico he would become "monumentally unpopular" in Spain.

Atletico could also use some of the money they had set aside for transfers to increase his wages too.

And it's not just Griezmann

The French star is Atletico's biggest asset, but there were other players lined up for summer moves. 

"Clubs hoping to sign keeper Jan Oblak or midfielder Saul Niguez are also scuppered," notes the Mail, and Tottenham's chances of landing striker Kevin Gameiro are also likely to have been ended.

What other possible deals are affected?

Plenty. "Hopes that Diego Simeone would be able to strengthen his squad immediately [after selling Griezmann] with potential signings such as Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette, Chelsea's Diego Costa and Monaco's Fabinho have been dashed," says ESPN.

"Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claimed last week that Lacazette had a verbal agreement to join Atletico, dependent on the club's transfer ban being lifted."

Those are not the only deals in the pipeline.

"They also had Everton target Sandro Ramirez, Sevilla winger Vitolo and Manchester City's Nolito waiting in the wings," says the Mail.

Other clubs will now be sniffing around those players, but it could mean that the likes of Lyon, Chelsea and Monaco, who were hoping to fund their summer business by selling to Atletico, will have to reassess their options. 

What could get the carousel going again?

With the biggest deal of the summer seemingly dead in the water attention has inevitably turned to other major stars, with Gareth Bale of Real Madrid a potential alternative for Man United.

The Mail says that if United move for the Real Madrid star, this could in turn fund a raid on Monaco for teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe and get the money-go-round moving once again.


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