Real Madrid reportedly suspect that their transfer ban - which forbids them from registering players after the current window shuts until the summer of 2017 - came as a result of a tip-off from Bayern Munich.
That is according to Catalan-based newspaper Sport, who claim Madrid directors are convinced Munich blabbed to FIFA.
Madrid and fellow La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid were punished by the world governing body for breaching rules over the signing of players under the age of 18.
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But Los Blancos are not taking the ban without a fight. They will appeal FIFA’s decision and are filtering information out to journalists regarding Munich’s tip-off in order to clear their name, Sport claim.
Madrid’s rivals Barcelona were handed a transfer ban in April 2014 for the same offence. Though Barca signed Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal in 2015, both players were unable to play until the current window opened.
All three FIFA investigations were instigated after anonymous tip-offs.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the ban affects Madrid’s transfer activity. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have both been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu but the club will surely be reluctant to sell knowing that they cannot immediately replace their best players. The ban also delays Madrid’s rumoured plans to sign Premier League stars David de Gea, Sergio Aguero and Eden Hazard.
Two of Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane’s sons were investigated by FIFA, along with 37 other players. The 43-year-old, a Madrid legend after five trophy-laden seasons with the Spanish giants, called the ban “absurd”, reported Sky Sports.