The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a transfer ban on Atletico Madrid while Manchester United wait in the wings to sign Antoine Griezmann.
It’s not expected to directly prevent Man United from signing the Frenchman, as Atletico will not be able to turn a bid down if Ed Woodward triggers his £87m release clause.
However, it would prevent the Spanish side from registering new players until January 2018 and will be a massive blow in their race to sign Alexandre Lacazette, who’s been lined up as a replacement for Griezmann.
FIFA imposed a one-year ban on Atletico for breaking rules to prevent child trafficking and luring youngsters away from their home country.
Atletico said in a statement that the ruling is “unfair and represents irreparable harm to our club.”
“We want to reiterate that we have been penalised despite strictly complying with the Spanish legislation, as we have always processed all our licenses with Madrid’s Football Federation, as the Sports Law indicates.”
Atletico announced on Thursday that the only reduction they had been given was regarding their financial penalty, which was down from £720,000 to £440,000.
A club statement read: “CAS maintains the prohibition to register players until January of 2018.
“They partially upheld the appeal presented by Atletico de Madrid, reducing the financial penalty but maintaining the prohibition of registering licenses this summer.”