FIFA announces new loan regulations to prevent clubs 'hoarding players'

By Sports Desk January 20, 2022

FIFA has announced new regulations that will limit the number of players that can be loaned in and out in order to prevent clubs from "hoarding players".

The new rules were outlined by the governing body on Thursday and will come into effect from the start of the next transfer window should they be ratified by the FIFA Council

Teams will initially be limited to having a maximum of eight players loaned out and eight loaned in at any given time during a season. 

That number will drop to seven ahead of the 2023-24 season, and six from the start of the following campaign and beyond.

While that does not cover domestic loans, national associations have been asked by FIFA to bring their own regulations in line by July 2025 at the latest.

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

In a further development, the number of players loaned in from the same club will be capped at three per season. 

And the minimum length for a loan deal will be between two transfer windows, while the maximum loan period will be one year.

FIFA hopes the new regulatory framework, delayed by two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, will help with player development and promote more competitiveness.

The regulations could have a major impact on the likes of Premier League pair Chelsea and Manchester City, who currently have 21 and 14 players out on loan respectively.

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  • Varane joins Benzema and Lloris in retiring from France duty Varane joins Benzema and Lloris in retiring from France duty

    Raphael Varane has announced his retirement from international football, saying it is time for France's "new generation" to take over.

    Varane, who made his France debut in March 2013, made 93 appearances for Les Bleus.

    The former Real Madrid centre-back, who joined Manchester United in 2021, played and started in all seven games of France's successful 2018 World Cup campaign.

    Despite heading into last year's World Cup with an injury, Varane featured in six of France's matches in Qatar, including in the final against Argentina.

    On Wednesday, Varane shared an Instagram post confirming his retirement from the international stage.

    "Representing our great country for a decade has been one of the greatest honours of my life," Varane wrote.

    "Every time I wore this very special blue jersey I felt immense pride. The duty to give it [my] all, play my heart out and win every time we went on the field. I've been contemplating this for several months and decided it's the right time for me to retire.

    "As a child, I remember following France 98, this team, these players who made us experience indescribable emotions. I dreamed of being our heroes and 20 years later I lived one of the best experiences of my life.

    "We brought home the World Cup!! I will never forget it. I still feel every single one of the emotions felt on that day, July 15, 2018. That was one of the most amazing and memorable moments of my life.


    "This victory that we won all together would never have been possible without the support of [coach] Didier Deschamps, every member of the management and staff over the years, and my team-mates who have defended our shirt in every game we played.

    "But more importantly, this victory would not have been possible without every single one of you supporting us along the way. Even after the defeat in the final last year, you welcomed us as heroes when we returned. To each and every one of you, THANK YOU a thousand times!

    "I will miss these moments with you for sure, but the time has come for the new generation to take over. We have a bunch of talented young players who are ready to take over, who deserve a chance and who need you."

    Varane, who captained his country 20 times, is the fourth member of France's 2018 World Cup squad to retire from international football, after Blaise Matuidi, Steve Mandanda and former captain Hugo Lloris.

    Karim Benzema did not make that squad but was set to feature in Qatar until injury derailed his chances. The Ballon d'Or winner announced his retirement following the tournament.

    Deschamps said: "Raphael called me a few days ago to explain to me that he wanted to put an end to his international career. He is an intelligent boy, who knows how to take the time to reflect, weigh the pros and cons before deciding. 

    "Without going into the details of our exchange, Raphael believes that he has reached the end of his adventure with the France team. I experienced a situation somewhat similar to his, I understand his arguments and respect his decision even if it may seem regrettable.

    "Of course, I cannot turn this page without a certain emotion, given the ties we have forged since August 2012. Like Hugo Lloris, he will have been, barring injury, in all of my squads."

  • Ten Hag feeling optimistic about Man Utd options after Sancho return and Sabitzer signing Ten Hag feeling optimistic about Man Utd options after Sancho return and Sabitzer signing

    Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag projected an air of optimism regarding his squad depth after the return of Jadon Sancho and deadline day signing of Marcel Sabitzer.

    United were dealt a massive blow earlier this week with the news Christian Eriksen will potentially be out for three months due to an ankle injury caused by a heavy challenge from Reading's Andy Carroll.

    The Denmark midfielder had been one of United's key players due to his creativity, as reflected by his haul of nine assists being bettered by no one else in the squad.

    United moved quickly to bring in Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich until the end of the season as a replacement, with the Austria international's arrival appearing even more necessary after it emerged Scott McTominay is also facing a short spell out.

    Ten Hag was thrilled to get the deal done, and he has high expectations for the former RB Leipzig star, despite him struggling to make much of an impact at Bayern.

    "We're really happy with that transfer because we need it after Donny [van de Beek] dropped out, now [Christian] Eriksen for a longer time, for a short time Scott McTominay is not available," Ten Hag told reporters after Wednesday's 2-0 EFL Cup semi-final second-leg win over Nottingham Forest.

    "To bring a quality player in on deadline day, that is difficult. We got this opportunity.

    "I know the player for a long time from Salzburg, especially Leipzig, [where] he performed fantastic. I expect the same here.

    "He has a great attitude, he's the right age. I'm sure this opportunity will motivate him and he will perform for us."

    Among the big talking points from the win over Forest was the comeback of Sancho, who had not played for United since October 22.

    The England international had been absent due to "circumstances with fitness and mood", which even resulted in him spending a period away from the club.

    He played the last 27 minutes on Wednesday, receiving a huge ovation from the Old Trafford crowd, and Ten Hag was thrilled to have such a talented player available again.

    "It was great for Jadon and the fans cheered him and gave him a loud applause, and that's great and he sees how the fans like [him], give him this love," the manager continued. "So we are happy with that. We need to keep that connection with the fans and we need that all season.

    "He has really high standards, he has great capabilities to contribute to our team and I think, especially now the team is improving, we are playing more in the opponents' half and I think his capabilities are coming more in front.

    "He can act on them more because he will have more touches on the ball and that gives him the best platform to perform.

    "Most important players enjoy football, which gives energy, that gives them the motivation to act and to perform. I think it was great, the reception from the fans to him, and also that will give him even more a push to continue in the way he's now acting.

    "He's just started again, a restart. He's [been] back at Carrington [United's training base] for two weeks, we see that smile and hopefully he can keep that and contribute to the team because when he is in good form, he is really important for us.

    "I hope, same as [Anthony] Martial, when you are all the time available and play often together with the players we have now in the midfield and front line, our attacking plan will improve and create more chances, then it's a process players enjoy more and are better motivated to work together."

    United are next in action on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

  • Rumour Has It: Man City eye Chilwell as Cancelo replacement Rumour Has It: Man City eye Chilwell as Cancelo replacement

    Manchester City might be searching for a new left-back following Joao Cancelo's departure to Bayern Munich.

    Cancelo, a star of City's last few seasons, joined Bayern on loan earlier this week having fallen out of favour with Pep Guardiola.

    Bayern have the option to make that move permanent at the end of the season, meaning City could well be in the market for a replacement.

    TOP STORY – Chilwell to join City from Chelsea?

    The Times is reporting that City could target Ben Chilwell, the Chelsea full-back, to replace Cancelo.

    England international Chilwell has had an injury-disrupted season and missed the World Cup due to a hamstring issue.

    However, he would fit the mould when it comes to the attacking full-backs that Guardiola employs.

    If City have a big windfall to play with from a potential Cancelo sale, could a fresh start in the north west be on the cards for Chilwell?

    ROUND-UP

    – The Mail and The Athletic are reporting that Everton are looking to make amends for their fruitless January transfer window by signing free agent Andre Ayew to address their striker concerns. Nottingham Forest are also said to be in talks with the attacker, who last played for Al Sadd in Qatar.

    – According to The Times, Everton could also target former Real Madrid midfielder Isco after his move to Union Berlin fell through.

    – Sky Germany reports Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino is close to signing an extension at Anfield, with his current deal expiring at the end of this campaign.

    Paris Saint-Germain are said to be "furious" with Chelsea after Hakim Ziyech's loan move to the Parc des Princes fell through.

    Barcelona coach Xavi insisted that they wish to build around Raphinha in the future, after the Brazil winger was linked with a move away from Camp Nou.

    – Phil Hay of The Athletic detailed how Leeds United's Jack Harrison had a medical at Leicester City before a switch to the King Power Stadium broke down on deadline day.

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