David Sullivan must be careful as West Ham United risk missing out on signing Silkeborg defender Frederik Alves Ibsen in January due to Brexit.
According to TuttoMercatoWEB, the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union on January 1, 2021 could see West Ham struggle to obtain a work permit for Alves.
The Denmark U21 defender has been widely linked with a move to the London Stadium after holding talks with the Irons ahead of a winter deal, thought to be worth around £1.2million.
Alves was photographed with his agent Christian Bysted in the English capital earlier this year following a rumoured medical, and was expected to put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
One hurdle still to overcome was in Alves obtaining permission to play in England having never represented his country at a senior level, which Silkeborg director Kent Madsen recently confirmed had delayed an official announcement.
“He is sold with what I would call a very small reservation,” Madsen told Midtjyllands Avis. “He must be able to obtain a residence and work permit in the country he is going to. We consider it a formality, but I can say that [the delay] is due to Brexit. That is why we have not announced the buying club.”
But, as Silkeborg were relegated to the Danish second-tier last season, the club now sit in what will be Band 6 for the UK’s work permit applications post-Brexit and, as such, Alves will not receive sufficient points.
As well as needing work permits for players signed from abroad post-Brexit, Premier League clubs will be limited to three U21 signings each window and will not be able to acquire any players under the age of 18.
The regulations were designed between the Football Association, Premier League, the EFL and the government to safeguard the future of the England national side, but come at the detriment of foreign players competing in low-ranking FIFA nations.
A player arriving from a side ranked lowly by FIFA would have had to play almost all senior international fixtures over the past two years to score enough points, with 15 points needed.
Exceptions can be made via the Exceptions Panel based on if the player in question is deemed to be of “the highest quality”, which Alves may struggle to be classified as.
It remains to be seen if West Ham can convince the Exceptions Panel to award Alves a work permit to join and unite with David Moyes’ squad in east London, though could look to complete the defender’s transfer before securing a loan deal for him to gain further minutes elsewhere this winter.