Why Tottenham mutually terminated Matt Doherty’s contract instead of loaning him out

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed Matt Doherty’s move to Atletico Madrid is on a permanent deal and not a loan.

90min reported on deadline day that the Irishman was in talks over a straight six-month loan to the Spanish side, with Spurs looking to shift some of their existing right-back options to make room for Pedro Porro.

However, with time running out to complete deals, it became apparent Tottenham would not be able to send Doherty out on loan.

FIFA rules permit that only eight senior players are able to leave on loan in a season – a quota which Spurs had filled to the brim. Sergio Reguilon, Harry Winks, Bryan Gil, Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Joe Rodon, Djed Spence and Destiny Udogie are all currently under contract but plying their trade at different clubs.

This meant Doherty would have to leave on a permanent deal in order for a move away to be legally sanctioned, and so Spurs decided to mutually terminate his contract to facilitate a transfer to Atletico Madrid.

Ironically, Spence is believed to have rejected a loan to Atletico earlier in the window and was the last of the eight senior loanees to depart having joined Rennes on deadline day.

Doherty has signed a six-month deal with Atletico and will become the first Irish player to represent one of Spain’s three biggest clubs.

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