Top Premier League clubs want rules changed on signing under-18s overseas

EXCLUSIVE: Top Premier League clubs are calling for post-Brexit rules barring them from signing Under-18s to be CHANGED… amid fears they may miss out on top young overseas talent after the UK’s exit from the EU

  • Premier League clubs could previously sign overseas talent at the age of 16
  • However, FIFA rules now prohibit English clubs from recruiting under-18s
  • This rule came into effect after the UK left the European Union last year
  • Some of the Premier League‘s top six want FIFA rules relaxed

The Premier League‘s top clubs want the strict rules of post-Brexit football relaxed to prevent the game’s best young foreigners from becoming too expensive to bring to England.

The introduction of a cap allowing clubs to sign two or three elite talents from the age of 16 is a compromise which has been suggested as an alternative to the current restrictions in place which prevent foreign prospects from being signed before the end of the season. 18 years old.

And the issue has reportedly been raised with the Premier League as some of the top six members seek potentially influential backing.

English clubs, including Man City, cannot recruit under-18s from abroad under current FIFA rules

The change in regulations for overseas signatures came early last year after the UK left the EU.

Under FIFA rules, English clubs were then banned from recruiting under-18s after being given an exemption while in the EU that allowed them to transfer at 16.

Less than 18 months after the new guidelines came into effect, which forced clubs to adapt their approach to recruitment at youth level, some of the Premier League’s big guns have come together to see if they can initiate change which would give them a bit more leeway in the market.

There is frustration among them over the best young players and better value deals they are missing out on from their continental rivals.

No longer able to sign them for reduced fees at 16, they fear the huge sums they could be forced to shell out for the same players at 18 and beyond that they wanted earlier and cheaper.

In some cases, valuations could mean these players are financially out of reach by the time English clubs are allowed to sign them.

Rayane Bounida's move to Ajax is set to take place this summer. (Ajax)

Rayane Bounida’s move to Ajax is set to take place this summer. (Ajax)

They failed to turn Belgium attacking midfielder Rayane Bounida into a header before the 16-year-old starlet agreed to join Ajax from Anderlecht in a deal that will go through this summer.

Manchester United want to sign Polish Under-16 midfielder Karol Borys from Slask Wroclaw. He is considered one of the best players of his age in Europe and has visited United before.

However, they cannot sign him when he turns 16 in September, leaving the door open for the chain of German clubs who also want him to sign the youngster instead.

The situation has also played a part in English clubs falling behind in the race for Nigerian youth international Ahmed Abdullahi, considered Africa’s best striker of his age.

Manchester United could miss out on signing Polish talent Karol Borys (Credit: Instagram)

Manchester United could miss out on signing Polish talent Karol Borys (Credit: Instagram)

Manchester City and United have both been aware that the 17-year-old is wanted across Europe, but Marseille and Borussia Dortmund have managed to steal a step, having tried him last summer.

Clubs are hoping the prospect of top talent going elsewhere, potentially being too expensive to bring here later and ultimately impacting the quality of the Premier League, can help them win the backing of top-flight chiefs. in their bid to get FIFA restrictions on young players modified.

When post-Brexit transfer rules were changed, including the requirement for overseas players to obtain points-based board approval in order to play here, English football authorities pledged to review the impact of the new regulations.

This assessment by the FA, Premier League and EFL has continued although a true picture of the implications has yet to be established due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the club’s finances. and, subsequently, in the transfer market.


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