Monday 23 April 2018

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho welcomes potential transfer window change

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho would welcome a changed transfer window
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho would welcome a changed transfer window

Jose Mourinho has joined the swell of calls for the summer transfer window to shut before the start of next season's Premier League.

A host of Premier League bosses have thrown their weight behind moves to ensure that from next term the summer transfer window will be closed before the start of the campaign.

The existing transfer window shuts on August 31, some 20 days after the start of the Premier League and a month into Football League fixtures. Changes are set to be discussed at a meeting of clubs next month.

West Brom boss Tony Pulis branded the window staying open past the start of the season as a "disease", while Manchester United manager Mourinho admitted he hopes the changes will be ushered in.

"My opinion is that we have to adapt to the situation; it doesn't matter what," said Mourinho.

"But as a football manager and not a market (ing) man, just as a football man, just as somebody that wants to work the team and wants to work the players, I would prefer the window to close as soon as possible, so everybody knows the players we have.

"The deals will be done earlier and nobody would be waiting for the last week and we wouldn't have the situation of sometimes a player to play game number one for a team and game number two for another team."

Mourinho also insisted the Premier League has enough clout to cope with its own window closing before the start of the season, even if other European leagues leave theirs open until the end of August.

That would allow European clubs to sign Premier League players even when English clubs could not recruit replacements, but Mourinho remains unfazed by that scenario.

"The question marks that somebody puts about if other leagues they don't close at the same time, are we in danger of losing players in the last couple of weeks?" said Mourinho.

"And my question is how many clubs in the world are powerful enough to buy the best players in the Premier League? The answer I think is very obvious.

"So the risk is minimal and even these powerful clubs, they have to know if we cannot buy after let's say 13th, 14th, 15th of August more or less, if we cannot buy, we are not going to sell.

"So if they are interested in players from the Premier League, they have also to do it before that limit.

"Again, I repeat, I am not a market (ing) man, as a football manager I would like it to close before the first match."

Uncertainty over the futures of Phillipe Coutinho, Virgil van Dijk and Gylfi Sigurdsson forced Liverpool, Southampton and Swansea to start the new season without key performers.

Sigurdsson's big-money move to Everton has since gone through, but Liverpool's Coutinho remains in flux trying to force a move to Barcelona.

Southampton are intent on retaining Van Dijk but Liverpool and others continue to circle.

West Brom have even rejected a hefty offer from Manchester City for defender Jonny Evans, leaving manager Pulis revealing his frustrations with the current transfer window.

"I think what it (relating to Evans) shows and proves is that it should close before the season starts," said Pulis of the transfer window.

"It's a disease that's grown. People have protracted deals until the last minute and unsettled people.

"It's a good thing this year that clubs at the top of the tree are struggling to keep their players so they understand what clubs at the middle and the bottom go through."

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic backed the proposals but insisted they should be enforced across the continent or not at all.

Asked if he agreed with vice chairman Karren Brady that 17 out of the 20 top flight clubs would be in favour of the window closing early, Bilic replied: "Yes. It is mutual from me and the club.

"We are on the same line. I would like that to happen. It would help everybody.

"For me it has to be across the leagues because otherwise there is no point. (Otherwise) it would put the clubs in an even worse situation that you would still lose players if the clubs from abroad wanted them and you wouldn't be able to replace them.

"It would only protect us if no other Premier League clubs can take your players.

"It doesn't have to be at the start of the season but before the first game of the season. It definitely should be across Europe."

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is desperate to add to his squad before the transfer window closes, but he too would advocate an earlier finish to end the current "nightmare".

He said: "We have to finish as soon as you start the competition. If we can do that, you know the players you have available and then you can start working with them.

"I can give you an easy example that a lot of fans will understand: you can be working today with some players and you will prepare your set-pieces, you will prepare your game-plan, everything, your tactics, and then the next week, maybe one of your players will be in the other team and he will know everything about your team.

"How can you work like that? You cannot. It has to finish because if not, it's a nightmare."

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