Neymar and Coutinho deals leave FIFA planning rules to limit lavish spending

FIFA president Gianni Infantino wants to introduce new rules to limit agents’ fees and transfer market spending in an attempt to “rescue the values that made football great”.

Transfer fees have been trending upwards for several years, but 2017 saw things reach a whole new level.

Paris Saint-Germain stunned world football when they triggered the €222 million release clause in Neymar’s Barcelona contract in August, smashing the transfer record that was previously set by Paul Pogba’s €105m move from Juventus to Manchester United in 2016.

The Parisians also clinched the loan signing of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco, a deal which will be made permanent for €180m at the end of the season.

Following Neymar’s departure, Barcelona have also spent significant sums on the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, potentially costing €147m and €160m, respectively.

[embedded content]

Infantino also has an issue with the January transfer window and stockpiling talents to loan them out, as seen at Chelsea, with the president hoping to introduce some changes by the end of the year.

“I don’t like what I’m currently witnessing,” Infantino told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“In 2017, global transfers reached $6.4billion, while the agents’ fees reached about $500 million, and only $60 million of which was invested in academies.

“How is it possible that, while the business is growing so much, the funds for the youth systems are getting smaller?

“Transparency is mandatory at our level. This must be applied to the agents as well. The summer transfer window should be shortened; the leagues should begin after the transfer window has closed, and the number of transfers during the January window should be reduced.

Article continues below

“It [the January transfer window] was once the time when you might replace an occasional injured player. It’s not acceptable to rebuild a team [in the middle of the season]. I don’t like it when a regular player switches from a team to another mid-season.

“I think we need to rescue the values that made football great. I think we should reduce the number of loans and put a squad limit of 25 players.

“The best players have to play, not to sit on the bench in bigger clubs. Americans have the most regulated system in the world, and they’re able to gain like anyone else. They understood they need a balanced competition to succeed. I’d like to set up the new rules by the end of 2018.”

Let’