Premier League clubs will find British players in demand and more expensive on transfer deadline day, with last-minute overseas signings harder to close than ever before.
Sky Sports News spoke to a prominent football agent and sports lawyer, both of whom have dealt with dozens of high profile transfers, and they strongly agree that – with the coronavirus restrictions in more – the climate has never been so difficult for British clubs to do late foreign affairs.
As a result, they believe the top UK clubs will try to ‘buy Brits’ if they bid late, rather than sue foreign players – unless a lot of the legwork has already been done. been carried out.
“I know of a Premier League club that withdrew from a deal to sign a German player today because they believe there is no way to complete the necessary procedures and documents on time,” the agent said. Sky Sports News.
“It was with another 36 full hours to play.
“The club’s buying options are limited at this point in the window. Since Brexit, every foreign player – including players based in Europe – needs a visa to enter and work in the UK.
“But you cannot apply for a visa from the UK [unless you are applying to renew an existing visa]. So, we have seen many examples where a player had to travel to the UK for a medical exam and then leave the country again to apply for a visa.
“On the day of the transfer deadline, it is highly unlikely that anything could be done in record time, especially since players and their representatives will have to perform coronavirus testing for international travel.”
The consensus is that if clubs try to fill specific gaps in their squad there may be a rush for UK players who are more readily available.
The agent goes on to say that is why many transactions in this transfer window have seen players undergo medical examinations abroad – to save the player from having to travel to the UK and then leave.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is a perfect example,” he explains. “When the move to Manchester United or Manchester City seemed likely, he flew from Italy to Lisbon. This is where United sent their medical staff to complete the medical examination, rather than Ronaldo flying directly to Manchester.”
Further complications are brought on by the UK’s strict coronavirus rules, meaning players may need to enter a quarantine period before they can move freely, train and play matches.
The best sports lawyer explained to Sky Sports News the process required to enter into an agreement, as follows:
- Once the clubs agree to a fee, a foreign player can travel to the UK for a medical examination (as long as they comply with UK Covid regulations).
- That player must then leave the UK and apply to the FA for a ‘governing body approval’ (this will be assessed on the basis of the team and country he is from, appearances, international caps, etc.)
- The buying club can then issue a sponsorship certificate, which the player can then use online with the GBE to apply for a “level 2 athlete visa”.
- If and when this is granted, then they can return to the UK to complete the transaction.
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