Sheffield United look to exploit overseas loan rule in the transfer market
and live on Freeview channel 276
As part of legislative overhaul instigated by FIFA, world football’s governing body, Premier League members such as United are now permitted to make seven temporary signings from overseas. Although this represents a reduction from the eight allowed last term, Paul Heckingbottom’s employers believe it provides them with an opportunity to provide the manager with a greater depth of options than might otherwise be the case; having handed him a modest £20m recruitment budget following last season’s promotion from the Championship.
MORE: Policy change exposed
As The Star first revealed, Heckingbottom and his coaching staff plan to focus heavily on foreign markets in order to try and stretch the limited resources at their disposal. Scandinavia, France and Belgium are viewed as being particularly fertile markets, given the extensive contacts the manager and his scouting department possess in those countries.
Brondby’s Anis Ben Slimane and Benie Traore of Hacken are among the targets United have identified, with both expected to move on before their return to competitive action on August 12th.
However, sources at Bramall Lane have indicated that Heckingbottom could look to ‘borrow’ a number of other players from abroad. However, with a huge swathe of those permanently contracted to United set to become free agents in 12 months’ time, this would compel them to begin negotiating with the likes of John Egan, Daniel Jebbison, George Baldock and Jayden Bogle before the window reopens in January to avert the possibility of a mass exodus next year.
Loans from domestic rivals are still locked at two, with neither allowed to be from the same club. The PL’s ban on borrowing multiple players from another team means that in order for United to grant Heckingbottom his wish of working with both James McAtee and Tommy Doyle next term, they must purchase the latter if Pep Guardiola abandons his plan to keep the England under-21 international’s colleague at Manchester City. Doyle and McAtee both excelled during their placements with United, also helping them reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup before returning to the Etihad Stadium.
Talks have already taken place with City’s football director Txiki Begiristain, with more expected to be scheduled following Doyle’s return from the European Championships.