Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has suffered another transfer blow after a loan move for Leeds striker Mike Grella was scuppered by FIFA rules.
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Motherwell announced on Thursday that Grella had signed on loan until the end of the season, but the Scottish Football Association have blocked the transfer under the FIFA regulation that forbids a player from turning out for three clubs in one season.
The 23-year-old made two substitute appearances for Leeds early in the season before joining Carlisle on an emergency loan in October and playing 11 times for the npower League One club.
A Motherwell statement read: "It was both clubs’ understanding that emergency loans do not count when calculating the number of clubs a player has played for.
"However, whilst completing clearance formalities with the Scottish Football Association, they highlighted an issue due to the cross-border nature of the transfer and his move from the Elland Road club will now not be allowed to be completed."
Chief executive Leeann Dempster added: "Our focus now is to provide Stuart McCall with all the tools he needs to bring in additional players."
Grella will now seek an English club to join on loan while McCall continues to look for a striker.
The Motherwell boss has lost Nick Blackman, Alan Gow, Marc Fitzpatrick and Mark Reynolds this month and let Bob McHugh join Partick Thistle on loan after announcing loan deals for Grella and Walsall winger Steve Jones.