Jude Bellingham to be registered as EU player at Real Madrid through clever loophole
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Jude Bellingham is to be registered as an EU player at Real Madrid, with the club set to exploit a clever loophole.
The 20-year-old has become the latest English player to sign for Los Blancos, following in the footsteps of the likes of Laurie Cunningham, Steve McManaman, David Beckham, Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Owen.
Bellingham joined for an initial fee of £88.5 million and signed a six-year contract, scoring his first goal for the club in a lucrative stateside friendly with Manchester United earlier this week.
He will likely make his competitive bow against Athletic Club on 12 August and is line to be considered an EU player, despite the United Kingdom officially leaving the European Union on 31 January 2020.
In Italy, British and Swiss footballers are still seen as EU players but may other federations do not deem them to be following Brexit.
However, England star Bellingham has dual nationality and was eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland through a grandmother on his dad Mark's side.
There is even a photo of a young Bellingham wearing an Irish shirt and MARCA say Real are taking advantage of those very roots.
The Spanish giants are currently waiting on confirmation from the Irish embassy but are very hopeful that his Irish passport, which is still an EU document, will allow his registration.
He will not therefore not have to occupy a non-EU spot, freeing up another place in the Real squad.
Regulations in La Liga means clubs can only have three non-EU players but Real won big last year when Brazilian trio Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo Goes and Eder Militao all received Spanish citizenship just 53 days apart.
In the eyes of La Liga, they are now all deemed to be Spanish.
Bellingham has quickly settled in with the 14-time European champions after moving from Borussia Dortmund and is already enjoying his new surroundings.
"I look like I am enjoying it, I like to think," Bellingham said after the win over United in Houston, Texas.
"So far, so good. I am enjoying playing with this team, learning from so many great players. I am definitely not getting carried away just yet. There are big challenges to come this season.
"There is a lot to aim for and rightly so. It is the biggest club with the best players. The expectations are high as they should be. It is about us going out there and matching that."