LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Fábio Carvalho during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

FIFA rules block Fabio Carvalho playing for Liverpool before next loan transfer

Fabio Carvalho is back at Liverpool following a failed loan spell at RB Leipzig, but the 21-year-old is unlikely to play for the club again this season.

After just three starts in 15 games and 360 minutes on the pitch, Carvalho’s loan at Leipzig was cancelled on New Year’s Eve.

The Portuguese is expected to depart on another loan deal for the remainder of the season, with Fulham, Southampton and Leicester all credited with an interest.

But with a busy January ahead, including an FA Cup third-round clash with Arsenal on Sunday, there has been speculation over whether Carvalho could be involved for Liverpool.

However, FIFA rules would effectively block any subsequent loan move if Carvalho were to play for his parent club this season.

Regulations outline: “Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during one season. During this period, the player is only eligible to play official matches for two clubs.”

Therefore while Carvalho in theory could join another club after an appearance for Liverpool this month, he would not be eligible to play in any official fixtures.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 11, 2023: Liverpool's Fábio Carvalho applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. Bournemouth won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If desired, there is no stopping the attacker from featuring for the U21s to maintain his fitness, for example, but he cannot play first-team football for three clubs in one season.

That would also be the case for the likes of Nat Phillips, Owen Beck and Rhys Williams, who are all either already back at the club or in the process of recall.

Phillips’ half-season stint at Celtic has ended on mutual terms, with the centre-back expected to depart again, though a shortage of defenders following Joel Matip‘s ACL injury could see him stay as cover.

The same may be said of Williams, though having not played a single minute for Aberdeen’s first team, he is clearly short of match fitness.

2REA1Y1 26th July 2023; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland: Scottish Viaplay Cup Group E Football, Dundee versus Dumbarton; Owen Beck of Dundee during the warm up before the match

Beck’s recall on New Year’s Day was an interesting one, with the left-back returning to Merseyside from a successful stint at Dundee amid injuries to Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas.

He appears to have drawn a line under his time at Dundee, and common sense suggests he has been lined up to fill in for de facto first-choice left-back Joe Gomez this month.

But if Beck were to play against Arsenal in the cup, for example, that would block a loan move to any other club – except, of course, a reunion with Dundee.