Real Madrid could face the same transfer ban imposed on Barcelona after FIFA opened an investigation into their signings of under-age players.

The suspicion in Spain is that the club is preparing for the worst after FIFA’s exclusion of Barcelona from the transfer market for the next 12 months, reported Monday.

The investigation into Madrid focuses on two 12-year-olds brought to Madrid from Venezuela in 2012.

Manuel Godoy and Fernando Macias were on a tour of trials with big clubs but before they could reach River Plate and Milan, Madrid snapped them up via an intermediary who has a soccer school in the Spanish capital.

The first was signed by Madrid in 2012 and the second of the two players signed aged 13 in 2013. He is currently in the youth system of another club, Rayo Vallecano.

Madrid have a month to file all relevant paperwork with FIFA and demonstrate they have not contravened the governing body&’s "Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players", which only allows the signing of Under 18s from outside the European Union if the player&’s parents have had to relocate to the country where the club is based, for non-football reasons.