New FIFA rules to impact Celtic and Rangers signing plans as governing body seek to prevent wealthy clubs from hoarding talent

FIFA want to stop situations where talented players join a major club and struggle to earn first-team opportunities with the parent team

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New FIFA rules limiting the amount of loan transfers Scottish clubs can make will impact Celtic and Rangers planning to recruit players from England or abroad.

The international governing body’s legislation is set to change from July 1 this year as they attempt to prevent wealthy clubs from signing talented players, loaning them out to smaller teams, and not provide them with enough first-team opportunities at their parent club.

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Teams will only be able to sign a maximum of eight players in cross-border loan deals each season, with another eight allowed to be loaned out.

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Those numbers will change to seven in and seven out for season 2023/24, and finally become six in and six out from 2024/25 onwards.

The new rules do not affect domestic loans between clubs in the same country, and they don’t apply to homegrown players aged 21 and under.

FIFA believe the changes are designed to “develop young players, promote competitive balance and prevent hoarding”.

The new rules will alter the loan market considerably in Scotland and other countries across the globe.

Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers will find themselves obligated to speak with larger clubs when negotiating loan agreements for potential targets. The loaning club must prioritise who they want to loan out and where to, which may mean some players’ moves are restricted.

If decisions on outgoings and incomings are taken later in the summer, Scottish Premiership clubs will be left to wait longer than normal to learn if they can secure the signature of the player in question.

Cameron Carter-Vickers in on a season-long loan at Celtic from Tottenham Hotspur with an option-to-buy clause in the contract. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The new rules will affect players over the age of 21 like Cameron Carter-Vickers and Felipe Jota, who spent last season on loan to Celtic from Tottenham Hotspur and Benfica respectively. James Sands, who joined Rangers on an 18 month loan deal from New York City, would also be affected.

USA international Carter-Vickers is expected to leave Spurs permanently this summer after making just five first-team appearances in seven years. The centre-back made seven loan moves during that time to Sheffield United, Ipswich Town, Swansea, Stoke City, Luton Town, AFC Bournemouth and Celtic.

Brazilian winger Lucas Piazon left Chelsea after just three appearances in ten years. He also made seven loan moves to Malaga, Vitesse, Eintracht Frankfurt, Reading, Fulham, Chievo and Rio Ave.