Premier League clubs are set to discuss a landmark change to the transfer window which could end domestic player movement before the start of the season.
Representatives from the 20 top-flight clubs will attend next month’s shareholders’ meeting with a majority believed to be in favour of a new deadline which would stop managers bringing players in once a season has begun.
Talks are at an advanced stage and the move could be implemented next year if the vote gets a two-thirds majority. Watford are believed to be one of the few to oppose the plan but a large number are said to be broadly in favour. It remains unclear, however, whether the required threshold of 14 would be reached.
The blueprint for change will be discussed at the next meeting of Premier League chairmen on 7 September, with the hope of ending chaotic transfer sagas with players agitating for moves weeks into the season. The new arrangement would not apply to Football League clubs and the January window will remain
The current window will shut on 31 August and promises to leave a number of clubs with collateral damage as they attempt to fight off suitors for their players. The proposed changes, however, would not prevent other European clubs – with their own transfer window dates in place – coming in to take players from English clubs, a prospect which would have serious consequences for the strength of their Champions and Europa League campaigns. It would mean that, 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.
Many Premier League managers, however, have grown weary of the window and the impact it can have, almost three weeks into a domestic campaign. After Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Southampton the Swansea manager, Paul Clement, said: “There’s frustration here and I’m sure Southampton are frustrated, too. I think if the window is shut before the season starts, everything is sorted out and we can get on with the football.
“At our managers’ meeting at the Premier League last week, we spoke about it. The majority of clubs are in favour, but maybe all have to be for it to go through.”
The Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, has been consistent in his call for deadline day to be brought forward. “It would have helped us this year [if the window had shut when the season began],” he said.
“There is a phenomenon and then people go looking for solutions. It makes sense that when the season is starting, planning for the team is over. But I also understand that some things take a bit more time. The whole market has changed – the behaviour of people.”
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