Sunday 17 December 2017

Mourinho and Guardiola back shortened transfer window

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho understands why his club voted against the early closure of the Premier League transfer window
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho understands why his club voted against the early closure of the Premier League transfer window

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have welcomed the decision to close the transfer window early despite their clubs voting against the change.

Premier League clubs have opted to shut the window for buying players the Thursday before the 2018-19 season starts, though as things stand other competitions and leagues will still be able to recruit from the English top flight while their own windows remain open.

Manchester United were one of five clubs - along with neighbours Manchester City - to vote against the shortened window, even though Mourinho himself is in favour of the move from his perspective as a coach.

"Obviously when the decision is not uniform around Europe, we are opening an element of disadvantage for the English clubs," Mourinho said.

"That was the reason why Manchester United voted against it, because there is an element of disadvantage.

"There will be a moment where the market is closed for us but it is open for the others.

"Obviously they can come to the English clubs, they can buy players and they can leave English clubs without the possibility of a quick action, of a quick response, so it's another element of weakness.

"I hope, I expect, my club to be strong enough and powerful enough that when the market closes for us, we can also close our doors and say 'it doesn't matter (what) the offer (is), we've closed the market to buy and to sell'.

"I expect my club to be acting that way so we are going to reduce that element of weakness, but there are other English clubs that will be at risk."

City sided with United in voting against a shortened window, but boss Guardiola joined his great rival Mourinho in viewing it as a positive step while calling for other leagues to follow suit.

"I'm so happy with the decision the Premier League have taken. It's really good," City manager Guardiola said.

"I know in this country how difficult it is to change traditions, but on the other side you're the first ones to make initiatives and change things that are maybe complicated.

"We just have to reflect that the transfer window in England will be closed sooner than in Europe, in Spain or in Italy.

"What we promote is to try to speak with UEFA and FIFA so that all the countries finish at the same time.

"But I think for the Premier League it's a good decision because it's important to start the season with players who will finish it."

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte agrees with the decision, arguing that it should have minimal impact on those clubs who have a well thought out transfer strategy in place.

"If you have a plan and this plan is very clear, it's not important to wait until the end of the window to sell your players," Conte said.

"If you decide at the right time what players are to stay in your squad, I don't see any problem about this.

"In Italy I think the views are the same. And they didn't change.

"The transfer market is always a period that is very difficult for the coach, because you stay, you wait for new players and sometimes you lose players.

"And for this reason I don't love this period. If this period is shorter, it's good."

A further voice of support for the decision made by the Premier League clubs has come from the Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor.

"We are happy and have said in the past it should coincide with the start of the season for clarity, certainty and integrity of the competition," Taylor said.

Press Association

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