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FIFA make major transfer decision to impact Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United

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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 17: FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the Best FIFA Football Awards 2021 on January 17, 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/FIFA)

FIFA has announced new loan rule plans that will limit clubs to six loan signings and six loan exits per season.

The framework will also include limitations on the number of players that go on loan to a single club. See below the full framework:

  • The requirement of a written agreement defining the terms of the loan, in particular its duration and financial conditions
  • A minimum loan duration, being the interval between two registration periods, and a maximum loan duration, being one year
  • A prohibition on sub-loaning a professional player who is already on loan to a third club
  • A limitation on the number of loans per season between the same clubs: at any given time during a season, a club may only have a maximum of three professionals loaned out to a single club and a maximum of three professionals loaned in from a single club
  • A limitation on a club’s total number of loans per season.

The governing body said: “FIFA’s member associations will be granted a period of three years to implement rules for a loan system that is in line with the principles established at international level.”

However, FIFA say ‘players aged 21 and younger and club-trained players will be exempt from these limitations.

There will be a maximum of eight loans for players over 21 allowed from next season, with the limit falling to six by 2024

The days of Premier League clubs loaning out significant numbers of players is nearing the end after FIFA confirmed wholesale changes to the transfer system will be implemented in the summer

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From 1 July there will be a law placed on the number of players over the age of 21 who can be sent out on loan by players, with the number allowed reducing to six by the summer of 2024.

There will be no limit imposed on the number of young players permitted to make temporary moves, although there will be laws placed on the length of deals with the shortest loan being the interval between two registration periods and the maximum of one year.

Clubs will not be allowed to make more than three loan deals with another club, while sub-loaning – effectively moved a player already on loan to a third club – is to be banned.

FIFA said that the new rules are being introduced for three reasons: developing young players, promoting competitive balance and preventing the hoarding of players.

How do the new rules affect Premier League clubs?

It means that the super-rich clubs will have to adopt a new transfer strategy to what has been seen in recent years with the practice of piling loan players the norm among the Premier League’s biggest clubs.

Arsenal and Chelsea would both fall foul of the regulations if they were currently being enforced.

The Gunners have nine players aged 22 or older turning out for other clubs, while Chelsea have 11 players over the age limit out on loan, including Emerson Palmieri, Michy Batshuayi and Danny Drinkwater.

The rules were first expected to come into play from July 2020 but were delayed as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. FIFA hope to satisfy core objects of developing young players, promoting competitive balance and preventing the hoarding of players.

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