By Mark Baber
August 15 – At their upcoming meeting on September 7, Premier League clubs look set vote on whether to part company with other European Leagues and have their transfer window close before the start of the 2018-19 season rather than on August 31 – three weeks into the season.
The current situation sees a number of high profile players in limbo as their club future is unsure – with players such as Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and Everton’s Ross Barkley currently unsettled and failing to play in the opening round of fixtures.
Swansea manager Paul Clement wants to see a change, saying: “A better situation would be if the transfer window closed before the start of the season.
“I don’t really understand why it goes to the end of August. I know there are talks about that changing in future. That’s my opinion that it should do.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also wants to see the change saying, “An earlier transfer deadline day would have helped us this year.
“In general, it makes sense that when the season starts that the planning is over.”
The proposal would see Premier League sides unable to add to their squads after the season kick-off, whist their players could still be signed by European clubs, leading some to question the wisdom of the move.
The debate is hardly a new one with Jose Mourinho having commented in August 2013 that: “The transfer window goes too far, into the third and fourth fixture of the season. I agree that it’s too much.”
In August 2015 Arsene Wenger made his views on the issue clear, saying: “Does it bother me the window is still open? Yes, because it creates uncertainties. At the start of the season everybody should be committed, not half-in, half-out.”
“The other handicap is that a player could play against you three times for two different clubs.
“He plays against you, then plays against you for another club. We say, ‘Oh, you have to love the shirt’ but, within the same season, he has to love two shirts.”
Any change would require 14 clubs to vote in favour, and may also be subject to legal challenge from clubs or agents who see the move as an unreasonable restriction on trade.
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