Fulham announces signing of Manor Solomon from Shakhtar Donetsk
Fulham has announced the signing of Manor Solomon from Shakhtar Donetsk on a deal until June 2023.
However, the 23-year-old attacker cannot be registered until August 1, due to a recent amendment to a FIFA ruling which The Athletic revealed on July 9.
Solomon exercised an option to suspend his contract with Shakhtar due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As things stand, he will return to the Ukrainian club at the end of 2022-23, with his Shakhtar contract set to expire in December 2023.
He was still able to train with his new teammates last week, and travelled with the team on tour to Portugal, having completed his medical earlier this month.
Solomon has Champions League experience and has made 30 appearances for Israel, scoring six goals. He also scored four times for Shakhtar from 16 league appearances this season before the Ukrainian Premier League was curtailed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine
He will become Fulham’s third signing of the window, following the arrivals of midfielder Joao Palhinha and Andreas Pereira.
“I’m really happy and delighted to be here at Fulham and I can’t wait to feel the special atmosphere at Craven Cottage,” Solomon said. “There are some great players here and I am determined to help Fulham achieve its goals for the year. I also want to send a big hug to my friends and supporters in Ukraine. You are in my thoughts.”
Why was the transfer such a saga?
Negotiations between Shakhtar Donetsk and Fulham were impacted by FIFA rulings affecting Ukraine-based foreign players. In March, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, FIFA announced that Ukraine-based foreign players would be allowed to suspend their contracts for the rest of the season, in order to be registered at another club.
This ruling was extended on June 21, allowing players and coaches to suspend their contracts for a further year until June 2023, unless they could reach a mutual agreement with their clubs.
The ruling on June 21 affected the Solomon transfer, as it meant Shakhtar essentially needed to conclude a sale before June 30, because after this date, it stipulated that Solomon could suspend his contract and leave for free for a year.
Fulham and Shakhtar had come close to agreeing on a €7 million transfer before the ruling on June 21.
However, on July 2, an amendment to FIFA’s initial ruling stated that transfers involving players based in Ukraine who have suspended their contracts will not be allowed to be processed through FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS) until August 1.
The amendment was made to assist the Ukrainian FA, who faced being overwhelmed by the number of potential transfers.