By Craig Scott

15th Aug, 2022 | 8:10am

Kai Wagner stumbling block emerges for Leeds United as work permit issue arises

Forbes journalist James Nalton doubts whether Kai Wagner will be able to get a work permit to join Leeds United from Philadelphia Union this summer.

Manuel Veth reported on Wednesday (10 August) that Leeds, Benfica and Dinamo Zagreb are all interested in signing the 23-year-old German left-back.

However, due to the fact that the UK is no longer in the EU, it is more difficult for English clubs to sign players from overseas and Nalton doubts whether Wagner will have enough points to join Leeds.

“On MLS-EPL work permits… haven’t looked fully into the Kai Wagner to Leeds but imagine it might be a stumbling block there too,” said Nalton via his personal Twitter account on Sunday (14 August).

“If Wagner transfer does go through it would be interesting to see how they managed it in this regard.”

Cheers, Brexit

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If the UK was still in the EU, there’d be no issues at all with Wagner joining the club as he’s a German and he’d have been able to freely work in England.

However, Brexit has muddied the waters.

As explained by World Football Index, players from the EU now need 15 work permit points in order to qualify to play in the Premier League.

Players aged 18 and over and play regularly in one of the top leagues in Europe are all but assured of getting enough points but that doesn’t apply to Wagner, who’s in the MLS in the USA.

The MLS is classed as a “band four” league, which isn’t good as it puts it on a par with the second-tier in Germany, the Greek Super League and the Czech First League.

That could be where the problem lies but there is a way to work around it.

Leeds can sign Wagner regardless of whether he obtains a work permit. If he doesn’t get one, he can be sent on loan to a club in a top European league, play regularly and then apply again.

But that doesn’t help Leeds right now – they need a left-back yesterday.

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