Pep Guardiola relaxed about Fifa’s proposed restrictions on loans

Pep Guardiola relaxed about Fifa’s proposed restrictions on loans
Pep Guardiola relaxed about Fifa’s proposed restrictions on loans

Fifa will discuss a possible cap on overseas loans in February
Manchester City worried they may lose 19-year-old Brahim Díaz

Manchester City’s Brahim Diaz, who could leave the club in the summer, celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during their Carabao Cup match against Fulham. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola has said he is not unduly concerned about Fifa proposals to reduce the number of players clubs are allowed to send on loan, despite Manchester City having 28 registered professionals out with other clubs.

Fifa is thought to favour a cap on non-domestic loans for players over the age of 21 or 23. It has said it wants loans to be “for the purpose of youth development as opposed to commercial exploitation”. The matter is due to be next discussed in February with a view to it coming in for season 2020-21.

“If it happens we will adapt to the rules,” City’s manager said. “We will have to bring the players back here and see where they are going to play, and if we can’t find anywhere we will have to sell them. The problem is that once they have been playing for someone’s first team, in front of a crowd, it is not much use to go back to playing in a second team in a poor league. Douglas Luiz, for example, is out on loan to Girona; he’s playing at the Camp Nou. There’s no way he could come back and play in the second team here – it would be nonsense.” The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.

City’s apparent player surplus is also causing promising academy products to leave the club. Jadon Sancho has earned England caps by moving to Borussia Dortmund, and City are concerned the 19-year-old Brahim Díaz may return to his native Spain. The midfielder will be out of contract in the summer and has so far refused to commit himself to a new one, with Real Madrid monitoring the situation.

“Brahim must sign a new contract or he must leave,” Guardiola said. “It is his decision. We want him to stay and we have done everything we can to take care of him but in the end … we cannot control the market.

“Players have to make up their own minds about their own futures, and I can understand the reasons why they might want to leave. They have their own families to think about, the career is short, and clubs are coming in telling them they will be the most important player in the team if they move. It is difficult to persuade them it might be better to spend a few more years playing in front of 10 people, but we are not the only club with this problem.”

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