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FIFA Reportedly Plans to Reduce Number of Players Who Can Be Loaned out

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2018

FIFA President Gianni Infantino talks to journalists during a news conference during the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Francisco Seco/Associated Press

FIFA is reportedly planning to reduce the number of senior players who can be loaned out each season to eight. 

According to SportBild (h/t Transfermarkt, via the Mirror's Mark Jones), clubs will only be able to send out "eight professionals" at a time, though there will be no limits on loaning young players:

"Talents under the age of 21 who have been trained by their home club and have been under contract there for an extended period of time may continue to be borrowed in unlimited numbers to further their development by collecting match practice elsewhere."

In February, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said "it is important to establish a few rules as a limitation of squad sizes or the number of players out on loan."

Per The Sun's Dave Fraser, the plans could be a blow to clubs such as Chelsea and Juventus. The former have 40 players out on loan this season, while the latter have sent out 26.

Of the 40 Blues players sent out on temporary moves, 19 are over the age of 21, including the likes of Kurt Zouma, Michy Batshuayi, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Matt Miazga. As for Juventus, 10 of their loanees are 22 or older.

Neither club hold a candle to Serie A side Atalanta, though, per AS:

AS English @English_AS

FIFA looking to impose limit on loan deals with 8 expected to be maximum for (loan out) deals. Serie side Atalanta currently have 77 registered players out on loan, Real Madrid 21. https://t.co/GQfdFNKXAA https://t.co/UvZZap9fMy

Football writer Daniel Tiluk is hopeful FIFA will enforce the cap:

Daniel Tiluk @danieltiluk

I really hope FIFA/UEFA change the loan rules. It is a broken system that’s being taken advantage of by clubs like Chelsea and Juventus. The sooner it‘s changed, the better.

For clubs like Chelsea, it has become a model in recent years to acquire promising young players in high volumes before loaning them out.

Few players have returned to the club and found a path to the first team waiting for them, but it has been a profitable strategy for the Blues, who have managed to sell the likes of Nathan Ake and Bertrand Traore for healthy fees.

Before them, Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku also spent time on Chelsea's books in their youth, but they too were out on loan for most of their Blues careers.

If FIFA puts its plans into action, they'll be one of a number of clubs who will need to rethink their approach in the transfer market.

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