Manchester United are leading the call to return the transfer window to how it used to be before they messed with it this summer.
In an exclusive in Saturday’s Daily Mail, Mike Keegan writes, “Manchester United are leading a move by Premier League clubs to return the transfer deadline to the end of August. This year’s shift forward to August 9 was deemed a failure in many quarters and United are keen on extending the window. Crucially, they have backing within the big six, who fear the early deadline hands power to European rivals.
“A source at an elite club said: “If Chelsea had lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, they would not have been able to replace him. Moves are often triggered when the selling club know they have a replacement lined up and that also affected the number of deals done. This put English clubs at a disadvantage.”
The problem, of course, was not that the transfer window closed before the season got underway – a move Arsene Wenger had been calling for for years (Close it before the season starts or leave it open all season, was his call) but rather that it wasn’t uniform across the footballing world. That left English clubs vulnerable to losing players they couldn’t replace.
It was almost as if the person who made the decision didn’t think the whole thing through.
According to Keegan, the issue was raised at a Premier League meeting this month where it was agreed to debate the matter further in November.
Last September, Manchester United, Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Swansea, and Watford voted against the change. Burnley abstained. With Swansea now relegated, United need to find the support of 10 clubs to push the change through.
FIFA is reportedly planning to ring in a standardised transfer window that would require it to close the day before their domestic season starts In that case, English clubs could still find themselves with a bit of a problem compared to other leagues that kick off a little later in August.
Speaking ahead of United’s weekend game against Wolves, Jose Mourinho said of the upcoming season for his club, “For sure, [it will be] a difficult season.
“I don’t change that [opinion] because we won two matches in the Premier League. You see the level of the teams. You see the Liverpool squad, Manchester City squad, Chelsea squad, Tottenham squad, Arsenal improving. It’s going to be difficult.
“I’m not saying we are going to have more points than last season because last season we collected a very acceptable level of points. I think we are going to be a better team. We are going to play better than we did, but I think it’s going to be a very difficult season. I am optimistic, but a difficult season, yes.”