Real Madrid reportedly believe Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich are responsible for their pending transfer ban, with the latest rumours claiming team directors are convinced the Bavarians tipped off the investigators.
Francesc J. Gimeno of Catalan-based newspaper Sport claimed the investigations into Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona all came after anonymous tips, and in an attempt to shift the blame away from the club, Los Blancos are now convinced Bayern played a role:
Madrid have began to filter out information to journalists close to the club, claiming that the ‘black hand’ working against them has a name and a surname in a bid to take the responsibility for the errors committed away from themselves.
[…] Real Madrid’s directors are convinced that Bayern Munich are behind it all.
Barcelona were previously banned from registering any new players due to violations in signing minors, and Real and Atletico now face similar punishment.
Real's impending ban comes at a time when there are strong rumours linking the club with one of Bayern's biggest stars. Striker Robert Lewandowski is reportedly a target for Los Blancos, and his agent Maik Barthel, recently fuelled the rumours during an interview with German outlet Bild (h/t ESPN FC).
Barthel warned the club over comments made about Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, telling the Bavarians: “When you have a beautiful bride, you should not be after other brides.”
The ban couldn't have come at a better time for Bayern, who won't have to fear a Lewandowski exit if things play out the way they should. Barcelona were able to move the ban back past the 2014 summer transfer window by appealing, but as reported by EFE (for Sport), they weren't contacted about a possible ban until April of that year.
La Liga blogger Rafael Hernandez isn't sure whether Real and Atletico will be able to postpone their respective bans past the 2016 summer window:
This could be damning, Barça got it postponed due to FIFA’s timing of announcement, April, but now the year has just begun.— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) January 14, 2016
A player of Lewandowski's caliber is unlikely to leave Bayern in January, knowing he won't be able to play in the Champions League for the rest of the season, and if the appeals process would indeed come to an end before the summer, his immediate future at the Allianz Arena would be a little safer.
The opposite is possible as well. If Real do manage to push the ban past the summer of 2016, there's a good chance they'll throw a chunk of cash at a number of players, buying enough talent to make them last throughout the ban.
We'll probably never know whether or not Bayern played a role in the investigations that led to the transfer embargoes, but ultimately, it doesn't matter. La Liga's three biggest clubs broke the rules, so they only have themselves to blame.