Atletico Madrid’s appeal of their transfer ban has failed, and the La Liga side will not be able to sign any new players during the 2017 summer transfer window. The club reacted angrily, claiming the ruling “poses an unfair disadvantage” compared to other, similar cases and that it will cause them “irreparable damage.”
The similar cases they’re bothered by is really only one, that of Real Madrid, who managed to have their own transfer ban cut in half in a connected case. FIFA today, however, have ruled that the specifics in the case of Atletico were sufficiently different to uphold their original punishment.
Now, fans of other big clubs across Europe are likely asking what knock-on effects they could see because of the ruling. The biggest and most obvious one is likely to be the case of Manchester United and Antoine Griezmann, with Atleti far less likely to be willing to sell their top attacker now that they can’t replace him.
Already, word out of Manchester has it that United’s Griezmann interest has “cooled” and that they may look at other targets, which seems a face-saving way for the English club to say that Atletico Madrid have signalled they are no longer willing to sell their 26-year-old attacking star.
The next most likely knock-on effect would be Alexandre Lacazette. The Lyon striker had been pencilled in to complete a move to Atleti to replace the presumed departing Griezmann, but if Griezmann stays and Alteti cannot sign new players in any case, that move would be off the table.
The question then is just how set on a move to Madrid Lacazette might have been. At 26 years of age, it feels as though it might be the striker’s last, best chance to leave Lyon for one of Europe’s top leagues. That could mean an opening for another club to sign the talented striker.
Alternately, if United are set on Griezmann and Griezmann is set on United and Atletico Madrid are set on Lacazette, it’s plausible all the parties would be content to wait until the January transfer window. But for Liverpool fans who have wanted Lacazette for a few years now, it appears he just might be available again.
As to whether those fans should be excited by that, though, is another matter given Liverpool haven’t been reliably linked with Lacazette since Jürgen Klopp arrived at the club. He might be on the market again due to Atleti’s upheld transfer ban, but that doesn’t mean Liverpool are going to go for him.
In all likelihood, Liverpool fans are going to have to settle with watching rivals Manchester United be denied their key attacking signing of in Griezmann as the only meaningful result of Atleti not being able to sign any new players this summer.