Wenger suggests that he could’ve signed di Maria as a youngster but was scuppered by the rules.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that he wants the work permit rules surrounding the signing of foreign players by Premier League clubs to be scrapped, report the Mail, with the Frenchman controversially suggesting that the regulations harm the English game.
Wenger’s comments have come as a result of his pursuit of £15m central defender Gabriel Paulista from La Liga outfit Villarreal, a transfer that rests upon the Gunners’ ability to persuade a tribunal to award them a work permit for the Brazilian.
The Frenchman also suggested that the Gunners could have signed current Manchester United star Angel di Maria, who the Red Devils broke the British transfer record to sign from Real Madrid in the summer, when he was a youngster, but they were foiled by the employment rules and saw di Maria pursue his career in Portugal and Spain instead.
The rules are set to be changed next season to mean that work permits are no longer necessary for players who cost fees of £10m or more, but Wenger does not believe that goes far enough and believes that the rules are harming English football:
“There’s two ways to approach the solution of the academies. You close completely the borders and you play only with English players. What will that do? That will kill the attractiveness of the Premier League and I think that’s not the best way to develop the best players.”