In Depth

Transfer ‘free-for-all’ as summer window could stay open until January

Big deals may be put on hold due to the confusion about how the transfer market will work

The suspension of football because of the coronavirus pandemic could force a major change in the dates of this summer’s transfer window.

In February Premier League clubs had agreed to adopt a change to the summer window closing date by reverting back to the traditional point at the end of August/early September.

It was confirmed by the Premier League that the 2020 summer closing date would be at 5pm (BST) on 1 September due to 31 August being a UK bank holiday.

However, those plans are now up in the air with the 2019-20 season currently on hold and uncertainty of when matches will resume.

Summer window to close in January? 

With football in an historic limbo, and no matches envisaged before May, there is confusion about how the summer transfer market will work for Premier League and English Football League (EFL) clubs. 

The Daily Mirror reports that if the season does start again in May and go until the start of July that will “cause havoc for the transfer market”.

As a result talks are underway between the relevant bodies to reach a solution, and one option is to extend the summer transfer window until January 2021, instead of closing it on 1 September. 

The Mirror understands that EFL clubs have already discussed extending the window until next year with the Premier League also looking at alternatives. 

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Free-for-all on transfers

With no clear idea when fixtures will be completed, the Mirror says that big-money deals are likely to be put on hold and players who are out of contract on 30 June face uncertain futures.

This could then lead to “one giant long transfer window and a free-for-all on transfers”.

Fifa sets up Covid-19 working group

The Premier League and football agents are bound by Fifa rules and the coronavirus crisis has led the governing body to set up a working group to look at the transfer window, player contracts and keep in touch with leagues and associations. 

Speaking to the Mirror a Fifa spokesperson said: “On 18 March the Bureau of the Fifa Council decided to establish a Fifa-Confederations Working Group in response to Covid-19. 

“This Working Group will assess the need for amendments or temporary dispensations to the Fifa Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players’ to protect contracts for both players and clubs and adjusting player registration periods. 

“This work has already started and will be conducted in consultation with all key stakeholders, including confederations, member associations, clubs, leagues and players.”

Sancho to stay at Dortmund?

Citing a report in German publication Sport Bild, ESPN says that Jadon Sancho could stay at Borussia Dortmund for another season because the Bundesliga club are “not prepared to sell the England winger at a bargain price amid a collapsing transfer market as a result of the coronavirus crisis”. 

Sancho, 20, has been linked with big-money moves to a number of clubs including Manchester United and Chelsea. 

Dortmund are holding out for a fee of around €130m (£118m) for the forward but ESPN says they are not willing to negotiate a lower deal. 

Today’s back pages

Olympic flame will continue to burn in Tokyo, football’s transfer window of opportunity, Kane on the mend

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