Premier League sides mull transfer reforms

AFP
English Premier League clubs are set to discuss whether to shut the transfer window before the start of the 2018-19 season when they meet next month.
AFP

A radical reform to the transfer window in England is to be proposed, and probably approved, by Premier League clubs next month, according to the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.

It is believed over two-thirds of the 20 clubs are in agreement for the close-season transfer window to shut a week before the campaign gets under way and not, as is the current case, on August 31, a fortnight after it begins.

Part of the reason is to avoid internal discord affecting certain clubs once the season is off and running.

Several top players are in dispute with their present clubs.

Southampton's Virgil van Dijk is one such case with the Dutch international defender training on his own as several higher profile clubs chase his signature, while Icelandic star Gylfi Sigurdsson is another who is seeking a 50-million pound (US$65 million) move from Swansea City to EPL rival Everton.

"There's frustration here and I'm sure Southampton are frustrated, too," Swansea manager Paul Clement said after his side had drawn 0-0 with Southampton on Saturday.

"That's why 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 favor, but maybe all have to be for it to go through."

The proposals would not affect transfers from EPL clubs to foreign sides or vice versa, thus Diego Costa and Philippe Coutinho's desire for moves from, respectively, champion Chelsea to Atletico Madrid and Liverpool to Barcelona could still go ahead.

Also, the January transfer window would be unaffected.

Influential agent Jonathan Barnett told the newspaper that he doesn't think the proposals would stop clubs making last-day panic buys.

"It makes sense and could make clubs more focused to do their deals early, but there will still be a deadline which creates panic," he told the newspaper.

The proposals are likely to be debated by EPL clubs at a meeting in London on September 7.

Imaginechina

Southampton's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk is in a dispute with his English Premier League club as he pushes for a transfer.

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