New Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has received a massive blow in his hopes to overhaul the Los Blancos squad after the Spanish giants, along with Atletico Madrid, were banned from all transfer activity over the next two transfer windows over irregularities regarding the signing of underage players. IBTimes UK looks at the big deals that could be affected by Fifa's decision, including the hypothetical departures of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United and the futures of Chelsea star Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba.
The two Spanish giants are expected to appeal the decision, as Barcelona did when hit by a similar sanction in 2014. The Catalans were allowed to delay the embargo one window, letting them sign Luis Suarez among others in the summer of 2014.
Should this again be the case, Real Madrid and Atletico will undoubtedly step up their efforts to bolster squads ahead of the 2016/17 campaign. However, if the embargo is not lifted, this summer's mercato will be turned upside down. There will not be any Galactico signings, but neither will Zidane be eager to let his squad be weakened by the sales of major stars.
Clubs around Europe will keep close tabs on the situation, with the likes of Ronaldo and Bale linked with moves to Old Trafford and players such as Hazard tipped to move to Spain.
The Portuguese star has been heavily linked with a return to Old Trafford – as well as PSG – in recent months, after a poor start to the season has suggested CR7's best days are well behind him. Having turned 30 a decline is not unusual, and some in Spain believe this summer is the perfect moment to cash in on the club legend. It will be the last mercato where Los Blancos can recoup a significant part of the £80m ($115m) they paid in the summer of 2009 to secure his services.
Louis van Gaal admitted in November the player would be welcome back at Old Trafford, but the Real Madrid embargo would probably end any chance of seeing him in the Premier League again. It would be unlikely that Zidane would let a player who has scored 25 goals this season (admittedly against the weaker sides in Real's fixture list) without the chance to sign a replacement.
The French manager recently claimed that Ronaldo remains the "heart and soul of Real Madrid" and will stay at the club as long as he remains as Los Blancos manager.
The situation with the former Spurs star is quite similar. Reports in England since the departure of Rafa Benitez have hinted that Manchester United and Chelsea are both keen to take the player back to the Premier League, as the player is disappointed with the managerial change.
The majority of Real Madrid fans have never been fully convinced by the elshman, and would be happy for him to be sold. The Times believes United would be open to shelling out a record £90m for the player's services.
But with no opportunity to sign a Galactico replacement, it seems unlikely that Bale will be allowed to leave real Madrid at any price.
While the Real Madrid embargo could be a blow for United's hopes of signing Ronaldo or Bale, Chelsea will welcome the news with delight.
The Daily Mail recently reported that Zidane was ready to battle PSG and Bayern Munich for the signature of Hazard, having been generous in his praise of the Belgium international since his early days at Lille.
Hazard, according to reports, is very eager to leave Stamford Bridge, but being unable to play under his idol Zidane could change his plans. While PSG and Bayern are big sides, the chance to play in La Liga is a more attractive opposition than Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga.
Spanish newspaper AS reported earlier this week that Zidane's priority was to bolster his midfield, and that coveted Juventus star Paul Pogba was the chosen one to be his first Galactico signing.
Whether Hazard or Pogba is the real target, the ban would render Zidane unable to sign any of them. This would not only boost Real's arch-rivals Barcelona in their move for the France midfielder, but also encourage some Premier League beasts to enter the race. Last summer, both Manchester clubs, along with Chelsea, were linked with the Juve star.