Quick links


André Villas-Boas wants clubs to back early closure of transfer window

André Villas-Boas wants clubs to back early closure of transfer windowAndré Villas-Boas is to call for a radical change to the current transfer window system and will seek support from fellow managers at Europe's top clubs at a meeting at Uefa's headquarters next week.

The Chelsea manager is to attend the governing body's elite club coaches' forum in Nyon for the first time on Wednesday and Thursday and intends to use the occasion to champion a system that would see respective transfer windows closing on the day the domestic season begins in each country. At present the deadline of 31 August is fixed across Europe yet, by then, the Premier League will have played three rounds of matches while coaches are still finalising their squads.

Villas-Boas would argue the uncertainty about losing, or recruiting, players can serve as a distraction and he would rather the cut-off for registering new players occurred at the start of each respective league. That would effectively grant clubs in La Liga and Serie A more time to conclude their business than their rivals in England, though the Chelsea manager is content with that arrangement.

"It should really close on the day that the season starts," he said. "I'm going to propose it. It will be my first time when the elite club coaches meet but I'll propose it. It may look pretty stupid at first but maybe it makes sense because it would give tranquillity to the managers to address their team building. That's fair.

"The proposal would be to close the transfer window when the season starts in that country. At least one other manager is on my side because I spoke about this at Porto last year with my technical staff and I know Porto's current manager [Villas-Boas's former No2 Vítor Pereira] is of the same opinion as me. Porto are a targeted club for the biggest talent and live in an uncomfortable situation as well."

The Portuguese club's current discomfort is partly due to Chelsea's own pursuit of Alvaro Pereira, with the Londoners still attempting to reach a compromise over a fee for the Uruguay international. If no agreement is reached, they would have to consider matching the €30m (£27m) buy-out clause in the 25-year-old's contract to secure the player before next Wednesday's deadline.

Villas-Boas still hopes to add Pereira and a creative midfielder to his ranks and has informed Michael Essien, who has been ruled out until the new year with a serious knee ligament injury, that he will not be included in the club's 25-man Premier League squad for the first half of the season. That situation can be revisited in January, when the Ghanaian should be nearing a return to fitness, though other players could yet be trimmed from the Londoners' squad to accommodate the new arrivals.

"I can play a little bit with it," added Villas-Boas when asked if he would need to sell before naming his squad, which must be submitted to the Premier League next week. "It depends. We have a couple of under-21 players, and we have Essien's injury. We'll only register him in January, as he knows. We can play a little bit with that."

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Dominic Fifield, for The Guardian on Friday 26th August 2011 23.03 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch