New regulations capping the number of international loans in and out at any club are set to come into force in July, Fifa has said.
The new rules, drawn up with the intention of helping to develop young players, improve competitive balance and prevent the hoarding of players, were originally due to be implemented in July 2020 but were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Provided the regulations are given final approval by the Fifa Council, between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 clubs will be limited to a maximum of eight international loan signings in and eight loaned out, dropping to seven in 2023-24 and remaining at six from 2024-25.
The rules do not cover domestic loans, but Fifa has said national associations must bring their regulations in line within three years - so by July 1, 2025 at the latest.
Chelsea currently list 21 players as being out on loan on their website, with eight of those at clubs outside England.
The changes are part of a wider reform of the transfer system which Fifa instigated in 2017.
The regulations also include the requirement for a written agreement defining the terms of the loan, the introduction of minimum and maximum loan terms (from one window to one year), a limit on the number of loans per season between the same clubs (three in, three out) and a prohibition on ‘sub-loaning’ to a third club.