Lost in the shuffle of Landon Donovan’s reported return to the LA Galaxy is a massive story with far-reaching consequences.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid may have been successful in delaying their transfer bans, but the La Liga giants won’t be able to avoid them altogether.
[ MORE: Mourinho vs. Pep rivalry ]
Further appeals are planned, but FIFA announced that both Madrid clubs will not be allowed to register new players until the January 2018 window.
Transfers can still happen, but players can’t register for Atleti or Real until 2018. Barcelona signed Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal during its transfer ban, but the pair couldn’t play until January 2016. To give you an idea of how many players normally join a club, Barca subsequently inked 77 total players right after the lifting of its ban.
While players have been purchased in case such a ban happened, let’s take a look at some of the parties whose fate has been altered by the two-window bans.
Diego Costa — Chelsea’s combustible striker seemed to have an Atleti reunion in his future, but the La Liga side couldn’t make the move happen in August. Now any transfer will see him off the pitch until the second half of the 2017-18 La Liga season.
Antoine Griezmann — He’s said he’ll stay at Atleti as long as Diego Simeone is at the Vicente Calderon, but the chance that he’ll be sold is even less now. The 25-year-old has bagged 22 La Liga goals in each of the last two seasons, and rumors say Arsenal went hard at bringing him to the Emirates this season.
[ VIDEO: How big is Manchester derby? ]
Diego Simeone — Will El Cholo embrace the obstacles of this transfer ban, or might he jump ship after this season? He’s winked at Lazio in the past, but has a contract at Atleti through 2020.
Gareth Bale — The Welshman is often linked with a move back to the Premier League, but this certainly aids his leverage and fast-forwards Real in terms of extending the star’s contract.
Alvaro Morata — His success at Juventus made him more of a hot property globally, but the 23-year-old joins Raphael Varane, Mateo Kovacic, and Isco as players who will get every chance to shine at the Bernabeu.
Valencia, Villarreal, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao — Here’s a chance for many other Spanish clubs to be a more alluring destination for top young talent.