Premier League plan to close transfer window early

No deals after season begins, but foreign clubs can still buy players from England

Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk
(Image credit: Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Premier League clubs will adopt a new transfer window next summer, which will prevent players from being signed after the season has begun.

The move will be discussed at next month's shareholders' meeting, but is believed to have the backing of the majority of clubs.

The change would require the support of 14 clubs and could mean an end to "chaotic transfer sagas with players agitating for moves weeks into the season", reports The Guardian.

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"The new arrangement would not apply to Football League clubs and the January window will remain."

Closing the transfer window early is a "potentially huge development for English football", says the Daily Telegraph.

Transfer deadline day at the end of August once again promises to be a "chaotic finale of last-minute deals", says the paper, and the opening weeks of the campaign are likely to be overshadowed by events off the pitch.

The Telegraph highlights transfer sagas that include Gylfi Sigurdsson's protracted move from Swansea to Everton, Virgil van Dijk's expected exit from Southampton and Ross Barkley's possible move to Spurs which have destabilised clubs in the top flight.

"Many chairmen and managers think that the uncertainty caused by the window still being open for the first three weeks of the season can cause disruption to squads and plans," says The Times.

But the idea is not without its drawbacks, adds the paper. "There is still a fear that a shorter transfer window could put the top clubs at a competitive disadvantage compared with their rivals in Europe if clubs such as Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have a longer period to bring in players."

The issue is also followed up in the Guardian. "If Liverpool were faced with a similar situation to the one they currently have with Philippe Coutinho after the domestic window had closed, they would not be able to reinvest the transfer funds and bring in reinforcements," it says.

Football agent Sam Winstanley also has reservations. Writing in the Times, he calls the idea "short-sighted" and says it will drive prices higher.

"Agents would have to start finalising transfer deals even sooner, ending the short lull in the market that exists now as players and clubs alike assess the market," he says.

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