Though Auston Trusty completed a loan move to Birmingham City on Friday, the Arsenal defender almost joined Cardiff City first.
Auston Trusty signed for Arsenal in the January transfer window, before rejoining the Colorado Rapids on loan until the summer. The 23-year-old ended that spell in the last fortnight, and quickly confirmed a move to Birmingham City.
But Wales Online report that it wasn’t quite that simple, as Trusty was initially set to join Cardiff City.
Cardiff were keen to bring in a left-footed defender, and they were impressed with Trusty after more than a year of profiling him. They held positive talks with Arsenal and his representatives and believed they were the favourites for his signature.
Arsenal were pleased with Cardiff’s trajectory over the last season and the way they’ve treated other loan players, and everything pointed towards a move being completed.
Yet Trusty ended up in Birmingham instead. So what happened?
Wales Online explain that a new FIFA ruling that a club can only loan a maximum of eight over-21s to foreign associations has made Cardiff a less attractive destination for loaning clubs.
Cardiff are technically considered as belonging to a foreign association, despite playing in the English Championship. So loaning them Trusty would have used up one of Arsenal’s eight slots.
Arsenal’s decision to loan Trusty to Birmingham City instead keeps that spot open. Cardiff sources are frustrated with the FIFA ruling, but not with Arsenal’s choice, which they understand.
Trusty made 19 appearances for the Colorado Rapids from February to July. It wasn’t the easiest season for the Rapids, as they sat 23rd of 28 MLS teams in the overall standings.
The 23-year-old will now aim to get going in European football, after completing his loan move to the Championship.