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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Transfer Window reform: Premier League giants ponder next move

The Premier League is expected to approve changes that will see the summer transfer window end before the start of the season.

According to reports, representatives from the 20 Premier League clubs will vote at next month's shareholder's meeting to move the deadline to the week before the 2018-19 season begins.

The window closes on Aug. 31 for clubs are said to be frustrated at not having a settled squad for the start of the season.

Here, ESPN FC's club correspondents report on whether the club they cover is likely to vote for or against the reforms. 


The Premier League champions are keeping their cards close to their chest with regards to the transfer window reform proposals until next month's shareholder meeting.

They have done some inspired business late in summer windows in the Roman Abramovich era; Michael Essien, Ashley Cole, Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta were all August signings, and David Luiz and Marcos Alonso arrived on deadline day last season.

That said, both Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have been frustrated by the Chelsea hierarchy's tendency to slow-play transfer negotiations in recent years, so bringing the deadline forward could eliminate a considerable source of tension at Stamford Bridge. -- Liam Twomey


United are broadly in favour of the transfer window shutting before the season starts, but there is a concern it would leave English clubs at a disadvantage compared with the rest of Europe. United don't want a situation where there is nearly a month when European clubs can sign players and English clubs cannot.

They will always back themselves to keep their best players, but it would still lead to a nervous few weeks between the English deadline and the European deadline -- unless the rest of Europe falls into line. -- Rob Dawson


Arsenal are expected to back the proposal, with Arsene Wenger having repeatedly said in the past that the transfer window should be closed when the season starts.

"Does it bother me the window is still open? Yes, because it creates uncertainties," Wenger said in 2015. "At the start of the season everybody should be committed: not half-in, half-out. The other handicap is that a player could play against you three times for two different clubs." -- Mattias Karen


Manchester City are expected to vote in favour of proposals to close the transfer window, sources have told ESPN FC.

City boss Pep Guardiola is an advocate of having his squad in place before the start of the season rather than deals dragging on after the opening game of the Premier League. He still expects to bring in at least one new player before the window shuts on Aug. 31 while there are a number of his squad who will be shipped out in the next fortnight.

"I think the market should finish when we start the season, it's too long, too large," he said in July. "We are playing here with guys who maybe will not continue or with players who are coming but are not here." -- Jonathan Smith


Rather coincidentally, before the reports even emerged Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke in Germany about his preference to see the transfer market close before the season started. "There's a phenomenon and then people start looking for answers," the Reds boss said Monday. "I think it makes sense that when the season is starting, the planning for the team is over."

Sources at Liverpool have told ESPN FC that it is too early to confirm their intentions. -- Glenn Price


Tottenham sources do not consider it fair to publicly reveal their stance before the vote and, with three weeks to go, senior figures at the club are still not sure which way they would go anyway -- not so surprising given Spurs' unusual position in the food chain. They are both big enough to poach stars from the majority of clubs but susceptible to their very best players being unsettled by European superpowers.

However, manager Mauricio Pochettino has previously spoken in favour of the window closing before the start of the season and he is an increasingly influential figure at the club, who takes the final decision on most football issues in conjunction with Daniel Levy.

The chairman will consider the financial implications of the vote first and foremost but football factors will also be taken into account. -- Dan Kilpatrick


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