Atletico Madrid’s lawyers are confident the club can sign players this summer after the Court of Arbitration for Sport hears their appeal against a FIFA transfer ban.
In January 2016 both Atletico and city rivals Real Madrid were banned from all transfer activity until January 2018 – after FIFA found they had broken laws on the international transfers of players aged under 16 – although Los Blancos have subsequently been cleared to make signings for the 2017 summer transfer window.
Atletico's appeal is reportedly due to be heard on April 24, but the club are confident they can persuade the CAS to remove the ban.
"I'm optimistic about our chances of success in this case as the origin of the problem is situated in Spanish law and the regulations of its federation, not the behaviour of Atletico with these players,” lawyer Christian Keidel told AS.
"The Spanish federation did not apply the laws correctly, and our view is that you cannot blame Atletico for that.
"It is the same with Real Madrid. [Zinedine] Zidane's son, for example, had lived in Madrid a long time but was supposedly illegal.
"Basically the FIFA rule is you cannot sign young foreign players to protect these kids.
"But the rule does not stand when the player already lives in that country for another reason."