The Rangers legal team could face major hurdles in registering the signing of record-breaking youngster Francis Jacobs.

That is according to sports lawyer Andrew Visnovsky, who suggested new Brexit laws could mean the deal being delayed by potentially two-and-a-half years.

At the very least, the capture of Jacobs, 15, from second-tier US side Orange County is set to be postponed by four months until the summer window.

 

The Athletic reported on Monday that Rangers have secured an agreement to sign the midfielder, who turns 16 in March.

Jacobs has a UK passport but the transfer might not be completely straight forward due to new Brexit regulations.

Writing on his personal Twitter account on Monday, Visnovsky said: “Jacobs won’t be able to transfer his registration to Scotland until the next transfer window after he turns 16 (so, the summer 2021 window), if not 18 (the summer 2023 window) at the earliest. (The EU transfer exemptions for minors no longer applies to the UK).

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“It was never an explicit exception in the RSTP (Regulations on the Status
and Transfer of Players) for players 16-18 who have citizenship in the destination country to be able to move, but pre-brexit FIFA allowed for 16-year-olds with EU/UK passports to move to Europe/the UK in recognition of the EU’s rights to work and reside.

 

“I don’t know if FIFA would recognize that for the UK post-brexit, given they didn’t expressly address it in the changes to the RSTP. It’s extremely new territory.

“If having nationality of the destination country doesn’t automatically give you an exemption, the player and Rangers could apply to FIFA for a “limited minor exemption” to try to make it happen. Barring registration of a national could be a violation of UK law. Who knows!

“Conclusion: the transfer for this young American isn’t happening until the summer, if not summer window 2023.”

Jacobs became the youngest player in US history when he turned pro in August 2019 at the age of 14 years, four months and 29 days.

He has made two appearances for Orange County and accumulated 67 minutes of action so far.

Jacobs was one of three Orange County youngsters to train with Rangers in December 2019.

The two clubs have struck up a formal partnership that includes commercial activities and sharing players.

In other news, Frank McAvennie has claimed he’s “sick of” Nicola Sturgeon after what she’s said about Rangers.