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Brondby error scuppers Dons midfielder move

Aberdeen have been prevented from signing Icelandic midfielder Stefan Gislason, after his previous club failed to release him from his contract in time.

Craig Brown (right) will have to look elsewhere to add to his options in midfield, after missing out on Stefan Gislason.
©SNS Group

Icelandic midfielder Stefan Gislason has missed out on a free transfer switch to Aberdeen, because his former club failed to release him from his contract on time.

Gislason, who stands at 6ft 5in tall, was due to sign for the Dons until the end of the season, after Danish club Brondby declared him surplus to requirements and released him from his deal.

But Brondby failed to cancel Gislason’s contract before the close of the transfer window on December 31, meaning he is not entitled to sign professional terms at another club until the start of the summer transfer window.

FIFA rules state players are entitled to sign for clubs outwith the stipulated registration periods, provided their previous contracts expired before the close of the previous transfer window.

Dons boss Craig Brown says he was ready to push through the move for the 33-times capped player, as he looks to add to his options in the middle of the park. But Aberdeen will now be forced to look elsewhere, before potentially trying to land Gislason again in the summer.

“We had intended to bring Stefan over to have a look and sign him until the end of the season but that can't happen now,” Brown told the Scottish Sun.

“Everything was fixed but when we checked the paperwork we found Brondby hadn't cancelled his contract in time to allow the move. This should have been done by the end of January but they left it until February 4 so we had to call the deal off.

“His agent was devastated and the player, along with ourselves, are disappointed. I have seen him play with Iceland and he is an elegant, creative midfielder who has a good presence about him.

“We may consider a move for him for next season but it's frustrating that for the sake of a few days we have missed out on the chance.”

Gisalson, 30, is now effectively in limbo because of FIFA’s rules, which forbid a player from being registered as a professional outside of a transfer window, unless their contract expired prior to the end of the registration period.

The defensive midfielder started his career under Bruce Rioch at Arsenal as a youngster, before returning to his homeland to play for KR Reykjavik on loan.

A permanent switch to Norway followed in 1999 when Stromgodset signed him, prior to spells with Austrian club Grazer AK, Iceland's Keflavik, Norwegian club Lyn and then Brondby, who he signed for in 2007. From March to July last year, he returned again to Norway on loan, playing 12 times for Viking Stavanger.

As the window closed in both Scotland and Denmark on January 31, Gisalson will not be able to play between now and the end of the season, unless he chooses to play as an amateur for a club.

Few players have registered on amateur terms in Scottish football at the top level, under which they must not be paid more by clubs than the expenses they incur.

Hassan Kachloul was wrongly registered as an amateur at Livingston in 2005, leading to the West Lothian club being fined £15,000 by the Scottish Premier League. 

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