Transfer balls: Madrid ban kills Manchester United’s plans for Bale and Chelsea’s move for Simeone
In “Bale Bombshell”, the Mail leads with news that Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have been banned from registering new players for two transfer windows. Both clubs are guilty of breaking rules governing the importing of player under 18.
This has a “major impact” on players like Gareth Bale, David De Gea, Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo. Sharp eyes will have noticed that two of those players don’t actually play for Real Madrid. But the Mail reasons that Real want to buy De Gea from Manchester United and Hazard from Chelsea, and sell Bale to United and Ronaldo to PSG.
This leads the Mail to declare a state of “mayhem” in the transfer market. Pete Jenson says Everton “could” look to panic buy Everton’s John Stones. Although if Real appeal, they “could” secure a delay to their ban, meaning they “could” buy David De Gea next summer. They “could” also sell Bale to Manchester United.
The Times, says the ban “all but ends” Manchester United’s hopes of recruiting Bale or Ronaldo. Chelsea are hurt in their pursuit of Diego Simeone, the Atletico coach. He loves the club and “may well demur at the prospect of leaving them in the lurch”. Also, Atletico might block Chelsea’s attempts to buy Antoine Guzmann.
On the plus side, Manchester United will have one less rival for Robert Lewandowski, and Manchester City in their hunt for Paul Pogba’s signature.
The Sun says the ban triggers a £250m “mad dash” by Real to sign as many players as possible. This means they will buy David De Gea, Sergio Aguero , Paul Pogba, Robert Lewandowski and Eden Hazard. The Star adds Harry Kane to the list.
Is it all just hype? When Barcelona were banned from all transfer activity in 2015, they used their appeal to sign targets. Barcelona were handed a 14-month ban in April 2014 after being found guilty of breaching Fifa’s rules on the transfer of players aged under 18. Fifa rejected an appeal in August 2014 but a pending appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed Barca to sign players, including Luis Suarez, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal. Barcelona signed lots of players during their ban but never registered them until it ended. When it did, they registered a mere 77 players.
The agents are going to be busy.