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Can January signings play in Champions League and Europa League knockouts?

The rules on whether winter signings are eligible to play in the knockout stages.

Dominik Szoboszlai, who featured for Salzburg in the group stage, is now at Leipzig
Dominik Szoboszlai, who featured for Salzburg in the group stage, is now at Leipzig Getty Images

What are the rules?

As has been the case for a few seasons now, each of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League knockout hopefuls are allowed to register a maximum of three new eligible players. Since 2018/19, however, it no longer matters if those players have already played in the competition for another club, even for another club still in the competition. 

When will squad changes be confirmed?

Clubs must communicate their desired squad changes by 24:00 CET on Tuesday 2 February at the latest. Once all teams' changes are approved by UEFA in each competition, the full list of ins and outs will be published on UEFA.com.

What exactly do the regulations say?

Here are the relevant extracts from the official UEFA Champions League regulations:

  • 45.01 As of the round of 16, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition. Such registration must be completed by 2 February 2021 (24:00 CET) at the latest. This deadline cannot be extended.
  • 45.02 Any or all of the players from the above quota of three may have been fielded for another club in the qualifying phase, play-offs or group stage of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League.

For further details about player registration at this stage of the season, check out Article 45 of the regulations in full.

And the relevant extracts from the official UEFA Europa League regulations:

  • 43.01 As of the round of 32, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition. Such registration must be completed by 2 February 2021 (24:00 CET) at the latest. This deadline cannot be extended.
  • 43.02 Any or all of the players from the above quota of three may have been fielded for another club in the qualifying phase, play-offs or group stage of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League.

For further details about player registration at this stage of the season, check out Article 43 of the regulations in full.