Fifa has announced that Chelsea have been banned from signing new players during the next two transfer windows for breaching rules in relation to youth players.
The ban, will remain in place until the end of January 2020. This does not prevent the release of players and will not apply to their women’s and futsal teams.
They have also been fined £460,000, while the Football Association has been fined £390,000.
It comes following a Fifa investigation into Chelsea’s signing of foreign under-18 players, including former striker Bertrand Traore.
The world governing body says it found breaches of its rules in 29 cases.
Chelsea have been given three days to appeal.
Meanwhile there’s plenty of talk that Chelsea will emulate Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid by appealing their transfer ban. Yet those deals for Higuain and Pulisic suggest they wanted to be prepared for any punishment.
The news also raises serious questions over Eden Hazard’s future – can Chelsea really afford to let the Belgian go to Real Madrid this summer or Bakayoko to A.C. Milan?