Clearing up Premier League loan rules with Sheffield United linked with another loanee
Photo by Rachel Holborn - BRFC/Getty Images

Clearing up Premier League loan rules with Sheffield United linked with another loanee

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has said the club are considering another loan signing in the January transfer window.

Back in December, Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield: “We’re possibly looking at two or three players coming into the group.

“The foreign market is one that we could look at.

“Is it going to be two or three permanent transfers? I wouldn’t think so. So it might be a bit of a mix in terms of players that we get in.

“There’s always a loan with an option to buy in the summer.”


Since then Jack Rodwell is the only new signing to arrive at Bramall Lane, joining as a free agent. So a loan addition remains a possibility, according to Wilder.

This has caused some confusion as the Blades already have two loanees registered in their squad in Dean Henderson and Mo Besic.

Premier League rules stipulate that a club cannot have more than two loan players registered at any one time.

So how can Sheffield United make another loan signing?

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Some fans have questioned whether Wilder knows the rules. We admit that even on this site there was some bemusement at the comments.

However, we should know better than to think Wilder isn’t fully abreast of what’s going on. Such a canny operator in the transfer market wouldn’t publicly make such a big mistake.

While it is true Premier League teams can only sign two loanees at any one time, there are exceptions to the rule.

One of those is the emergency signing of a goalkeeper due to an injury or suspension crisis. Even then the ‘keeper cannot be loaned from a top flight side IF the signing club already has another player on loan from them.

The other exception is if the loanee is signed with a view to making it permanent – just as Wilder says.

Although it still isn’t quite as simple as it seems. The Sheffield Star reports United are considering entering the overseas market for loan signings – and with good reason.

Under no circumstances can a Premier League team sign more than two loanees from other English clubs; even if one of those deals includes a clause to make it permanent.

Essentially, the Blades CAN make one more loan signing in January IF it is from a non-English side AND with the agreement the move will be made permanent.

The most likely option currently that fits those categories is Elias Cobbaut. The Anderlecht defender is a £10m target for United.

Another foreign-based player rumoured to be interesting the South Yorkshire outfit is Besiktas centre-back Domagoj Vida.

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