Real and Atletico deny claims of transfer bans for youth policies

Frank Dalleres
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Real Madrid signed 16-year-old Martin Odegaard from Norway earlier this year
EUROPEAN champions Real Madrid have labelled malicious reports that they are set to be hit with a transfer embargo for breaking rules on the signing of foreign players aged under 18.

Spanish title-holders Atletico Madrid also denied that they too were to receive a ban similar to that currently imposed on Barcelona for the same type of offences.

Real’s strongly-worded statement came on the day they named 16-year-old Norwegian prodigy Martin Odegaard in their senior squad for the first time since his signing.

The club said “claims that Real Madrid is implicated in any kind of irregular activity when it comes to signing minors” are “completely false”, adding that some of the allegations were “intended to cause harm”.

There is no suggestion that Real broke any rules in signing Odegaard, who was an unused substitute in last night’s 3-0 victory over Almeria, from Stromsgodset for a fee believed to be around £2m in January.

Barcelona remain banned from signing players until January after governing body Fifa found them guilty of rule breaches.

Atletico said they believed they had followed the “correct steps” and had “co-operated with Fifa at all times”.