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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 12:50 GMT
Agent plays down transfer fears
By John Sinnott

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard
Lampard is a player who could utilise the Fifa rule
The Premier League will not suffer an exodus of players taking advantage of a clause in Fifa's new transfer regulations, claims a top agent.

Players who have served three years of a contract they signed before the age of 28 can buy themselves out - as long as they give 15 days' notice.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Manchester United's Gabriel Heinze have been linked with transfers using the ruling.

But agent Barry Neville told BBC Sport: "It won't happen - not from England."

Nobody pays bigger salaries on average than in England

Agent Barry Neville

Neville, who represents Birmingham defender Matthew Upson and West Ham forward Teddy Sheringham, added: "I can't see any players using this as the transfer has to involve crossing borders and nobody pays bigger salaries on average than in England."

Last week the Times newspaper speculated that defender Heinze was thinking of "buying out" his contract, while the Mail on Sunday reported both AC Milan and Inter Milan would be interested in using the ruling to bring Lampard to Serie A.

Lampard's agent Steve Kutner has hinted that Lampard might be ready to exploit the Fifa ruling rather than extend his contract, contradicting Chelsea's claims that the England midfielder was close to committing his long-term future to the Blues.

If Lampard was to invoke the ruling, clubs would be able to sign him for a figure in the region of 8m rather than the much larger sum Chelsea would want for him from a normal transfer.

Contracts involving Chelsea defenders John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho, as well as Liverpool midfielders Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia and Arsenal's Brazilian Gilberto Silva, will cease to be 'protected' in June, even though they run to 2009.

Last summer Scottish defender Andy Webster used the ruling to move from Hearts to Wigan.

Fifa gave Webster permission to leave Hearts to join Wigan in September and, although Hearts wanted 2m for the defender, the Scottish club are likely to receive 250,000, the sum he would earn in wages in a year at Tynecastle.

He has since returned to Scotland after he signed for Rangers in the January transfer window.

January exit ruled out by Heinze
18 Jan 07 |  Man Utd
Milan clubs linked with Lampard
28 Jan 07 |  Chelsea


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