According to the Telegraph, the Premier League is close to approving a change to its summer transfer rules, bringing the deadline for transfers between PL clubs forward to the week before the start of the 2018-2019 season.
Currently, the transfer window closes on August 31, by which time PL clubs will have each played three league matches already. Under the proposed rules, clubs will still be able to bring in players from other leagues and sell players to clubs from other leagues until the end of August, but all transfers from PL club to PL club will have to be finalized before the start of the new season. This would still allow for a Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona move, for example, but not for Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City or Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool.
The Telegraph reports that a large majority of PL managers support the potential rule change, with Watford being one of the only holdouts. Paul Clement of Swansea explained after his team’s season opener with Southampton:
There’s frustration here and I’m sure Southampton are frustrated, too. That’s why I think if the window is shut before the season starts everything is sorted out and we can get on with the football.
Although transfer rumors between leagues will still crop up beyond the new deadline, the total volume of mid-August PL transfer rumors should be reduced, bringing a bit of relief to fans, managers, and players who are tired of the speculation—and, more importantly, some clubs will have less work to do in terms of incorporating new players into their squads and more stability for the beginning of the season. Several transfer rumor subjects missed their respective clubs’ season openers this past weekend, which wouldn’t have happened if transfers were chronologically off the table. Arsenal would be able to stop dealing with the endless Alexis to City whispers (although Alexis to PSG would still be a possibility) and focus on their league campaign.
The new rule is expected to be approved at the PL shareholders’ meeting next month.