Philippe Coutinho Alexis Sanchez Diego Costa Premier LeagueGetty

Premier League transfer window to close before season starts

Premier League clubs have voted to close the next summer transfer window before the beginning of the 2018-19 season.

Teams have been plagued with uncertainty this year as they have fought to keep hold of star players, who have invariably become unsettled due to their futures being unknown.

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In particular, sagas over Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho — two of the division's star players — dragged on until late in the window.

Consequently, in a bid to avoid this disruption, teams have elected to shut the next summer transfer window at 17:00 BST on the Thursday before the campaign begins. Fourteen clubs were in favour of the change, with five voting against it and one team abstaining.

The decision will not impact the length of the window, simply meaning that the registration period in England will open earlier than it currently does.

If other European leagues continue to allow the movement of players until August 31, they will still be able to buy players from the English top flight but will not be able to sell their stars to Premier League clubs.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been one of the biggest advocates for a change in the current system, arguing as recently as Tuesday: "The ideal situation would be to have a transfer period that is closed 48 hours before the first game of the championship and to close it completely until after the season.

"I believe that we have to bring some decency. We all complain today that it has become too much a business, but we can do something about it. We have that responsibility in the game.”


It is currently unclear exactly when the transfer window will be opened in England.

The Premier League have confirmed that the transfer window will close at 17:00 BST on Thursday, August 9, meaning that the season could potentially start on Friday, August 10 or Saturday, August 11.

As the summer transfer period lasts for 12 weeks, that would mean the window should, in theory, open around the middle of May (16 or 17), a matter of days after the current season ends and over a week before the Champions League final.