Arsenal will not register Vlahovic after he joins due to ‘transfer loophole’

Arsenal are closing in on signing Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic following reports that a £67 million bid has been accepted.

The Gunners have been in need of a striker since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy and effectively booted out of the club by manager Mikel Arteta last month.

Vlahovic meanwhile has been on fire in Serie A, netting 17 goals in 21 matches this season and attracting interest from every corner of Europe in the process.

But Arsenal appear to have pipped their rivals to the post and could seal a deal for the Serbian in the coming days, providing personal terms can be agreed.

Another major bonus for the north London side is that they won't even have to register Vlahovic if they sign him this month.

Registering players can often be a tricky business, as Barcelona have discovered to their cost in recent months, but due to a 'transfer loophole', Arsenal needn't even bother.

Even though Vlahovic turns 22 next week, he's still classed as an U21 player according to Premier League rules.

This is because "an U21 player is defined as one who is under the age of 21 on 1st January in the year in which the season commences."

All Premier League teams have to name 25-man squads at the start of each campaign, but clubs are allowed to include as many U21 players – who don't need to be registered – as they like.

According to the rules, a maximum of 17 places in the squad can be filled by overseas players, with the remaining eight places reserved for players with 'homegrown' status.

Will Dusan Vlahovic be the best striker in the Premier League if he joins Arsenal? Let us know what you think in the comments section…

To be considered 'homegrown', players must have been registered with any club affiliated with The FA or Welsh FA for a period of at least three seasons before their 21st birthday.

Arsenal currently have 14 overseas players in their squad, but as Vlahovic is technically still classed as an U21 player, he won't need to be registered – not until next season anyway – meaning there are still three overseas slots that can be filled.

This may come in handy as a move for Juventus midfielder Arthur is still on the cards, while the likes of Bruno Guimaraes, Georginio Wijnaldum and Youri Tielemans have also been linked with the club.

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