Everton's and Cardiff City's pre-season plans appear to have been dealt huge blows after it emerged that Danny Gosling and Joe Ledley look set to leave the clubs on free transfers having exposed loopholes in the rules regarding the movement of players.
Gosling Takes Flight
David Moyes and the Everton Chiefs are particularly upset with the 20-year-old Gosling after the English U-21 international successfully argued to the Premier League that he should be allowed to leave the club as a free agent.
The move comes after Gosling exposed a Premier League loophole regarding his contract as under transfer rules the club in question should have offered him a new contract in writing by mid-May.
When the aforementioned piece of paper did not arrive, Gosling and his advisers were able to successfully argue that verbal agreements mean little and that the player should be allowed to move.
The Premier League upheld Goslings's argument and Everton will now lose one of the most talented youngsters to come through the club since Wayne Rooney.
A Premier League statement on the ruling read;
"An independent hearing, convened under Premier League Rules, was held last week to look into the contractual status of Dan Gosling.
'Having looked into the matter, and considered the arguments of both Everton and the player, it was determined that the player is unattached and entitled to a free transfer.
"This is subject to a right of appeal by Everton which must be brought within 14 days of the decision."
Everton is going to appeal the Premier League verdict, but it is generally believed that their plea's will fall on deaf ears. Both David Moyes and the Toffee's Chairman, Bill Kenwright, are said to be furious with the English junior international and want to pursue the matter as far as they can.
They feel cheated by the youngster they signed from Plymouth for £2.4 million just over two years ago and had fully believed that he was going to sign on a long term deal after the player had seemingly indicated that he would accept his improved £15,000 per week contract.
Recently another Everton product, Jack Rodwell, signed on a £25,000 per week five year deal and early rumours would suggest that Gosling felt he deserved a similar deal as Manchester United were said to be tracking both players.
Had Gosling signed upon the dotted line and then looked for a move through a tribunal, Everton would have been able to claim something in the region of £4 million as compensation for his education, had the transfer fee been negotiated then the fee may have been substantially higher.
As it is the player is now a free agent and is believed to be negotiating with a host of Premier League clubs who came flocking once he became available.
Welsh Wizard Joe Ledley Heads To Celtic?
In a similar situation, Joe Ledley looks set to leave Cardiff City in the lurch by signing for Scottish giants Celtic.
As the player is leaving on a free transfer and is under 23, the club is due compensation of around £3 million for his services. However, under the current FIFA system, that ruling only comes into play if he moves to a team in the same country.
As Celtic is across the border in Scotland, Cardiff will receive nothing in compensation should Ledley agree to join Neil Lennon's new look outfit.
The Welsh international has already held talks with Stoke City, who were more than willing to meet the £3 million fee, before Lennon stepped in and invited the youth to see Celtic Park and mull over the move.
With Cardiff City in financial peril at the moment, the club owes the Inland Revenue somewhere in the region of £1.3 million, such a move would wipe out the debt and secure the Bluebirds a good financial footing for the year looking forward.
Last season, Peter Risdale turned down an offer of £6 million from Wolves for the play-makers signature—something that could come back to haunt them.
Celtic is also currently negotiating with Hull City's Jimmy Bullard, also on a free transfer, after the Tigers agreed to release the player just to get his hefty £50,000 per week wage off their wage bill.
Should Lennon sign the two players, they will represent a real coup for the club and will go some way to making up for last seasons embarrassing end.
The guarantee of European football might just be the key to securing both signatures. Celtic has also made formal offers to ex-Hull City midfielder George Boateng and ex-Arsenal and Spurs defender Sol Campbell.
All are available on free transfers after their respective clubs held back on offering new contracts, while Danny Gosling is on a free because he was never offered a contract...