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UEFA target young player contracts

UEFA could make a proposal to make young players sign their first professional contract at the club where they have trained.

European football's rulers have become increasingly concerned at the top clubs in England, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France looking to cream off the best young players from other countries.

UEFA president Michel Platini is now considering making a proposal to compel young players to sign their first professional contract at the club where they have trained.

The Premier League believe any restrictions would fall foul of European labour laws but UEFA say they have been encouraged by the European White Paper on sport published last week calling for stricter rules on the transfer of young players and "the principle that players should sign their first professional contract with the club which has trained them".

UEFA communications director William Gaillard, special advisor to Platini, said: "Our president has been talking about the idea that the first contract for a professional player should be signed with the club that has educated him in the academy.

"He says that the biggest clubs have the best players and the best coaches - that has always been the case - but if they also have the best youth it's the end of football as we know it.

"So let's leave at least the young players for a couple of years with their original clubs so they can complete their education because there are a lot of cases all over Europe of terrible failures of very promising players that have been transferred very early, when still children, and haven't developed well and their career has been ended."

Gaillard said the practice was basically "youth trafficking" and was not ethical.

He added: "They are being brought over at a very young age and basically dumped in the streets if they don't make it.

"There have been some successes, like (Cesc) Fabregas, but you can count them on one hand.

"The president is talking to the whole football family because he wants some kind of consensus and then obviously we will discuss it during the French presidency of the EU."

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Tribal Football Staff

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