Transfers are very simple when you’re a kid. Stick a wedge of cash on the table and you’ll get the player you want, especially if you support one of the biggest teams in the world such as AC Milan.
As you get older, reality sets in and you start to realise that things are not that simple. One of the things that people start to learn about is registration rules and how they can affect the types of players a team can sign during a transfer window.
These are rules are starting to close in on Milan as they look to pursue multiple targets, knowing that they cannot sign them all.
What registration rule is hindering AC Milan?
Players of the Football Manager games will have been burnt by this before. Each season, teams are only allowed to register a certain number of ‘non-EU players’ in their squad. This is players whose country of citizenship is outside of the European Union.
Coming into the summer, Milan knew that they would only be able to register the first non-EU player that they signed. A second is possible, but it will require a non-EU player at the club to be sold. The prime candidates in this regard are Devis Vasquez and Junior Messias, who are Colombian and Brazilian respectively.
They will need to action this, as the deal for Ruben Loftus-Cheek was announced on Friday. Being English, he is now a non-EU player even though he would not have been before Brexit.
The rule was put in place by the FIGC, with a similar rule in almost every European league, to promote the use of players from the territory without skewing the competitive nature of the league.
Which non-EU players do AC Milan want?
Now that Milan can only register one more non-EU player for next season, regardless of how many they sell, they have to be very careful about which targets they pursue.
Right now, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sempre Milan), Milan seem to be very keen on signing both Turkish youngster Arda Guler from Fenerbahce and Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze from Villarreal. On top of those two deals, they have an agreement in place for the free transfer of Japanese midfielder Daichi Kamada. That deal is just awaiting some agent registration details.
Seemingly, Milan can only get one of those players. Given Guler is 18, there is scope to sign him and then loan him elsewhere for one season before registering him the following year, but Milan have so many areas to address in the squad that it seems unlikely they will spend money only to not use the player straight away.
There are other players that Milan are supposedly close to signing who could appear as though they are non-EU players. American duo Christian Pulisic from Chelsea and Yunus Musah from Valencia could join, but they hold Croatian and Italian citizenship respectively so they are EU players.