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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Premier League to close summer transfer window before start of season from 2018

The decision follows complaints from managers that the current deadline affects their ability to prepare during the first weeks of the season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's move from Arsenal to Liverpool was one of the most high-prfile transfers on deadline day this year. Alastair Grant / AP Photo
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's move from Arsenal to Liverpool was one of the most high-prfile transfers on deadline day this year. Alastair Grant / AP Photo

Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to close the 2018 close-season transfer window before the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

Following complaints by managers that transfer activity disturbs their preparations, Premier League clubs will not be able to register new players after 4pm GMT (8pm UAE) on the Thursday before the season starts.

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The transfer window in Europe's other major leagues runs until August 31, meaning clubs outside England could buy players from English top-flight teams after the new Premier League deadline.

The move was announced following a meeting of Premier League club officials and is not believed to have been agreed unanimously.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave his backing to the decision before it was announced.

"Even in the games, you sit there before the games and even in players' minds they have no clarity," he told reporters at his weekly press conference. "Are they in? Are they out? Are they half in? Are they half out? Are they tapped up in the afternoon of the game by people who want to get them out? It's not the way to work and it's uncomfortable.

"Every single manager in the league would agree that it's time to kick that out before the season starts and not continue to have players in the dressing room who are half out and half in."

England's Football League - the second, third and fourth tiers - is not affected by the move.

Premier League clubs spent a record £1.4 billion (Dh6.73bn) on new players during the 2017 close-season window.

The window closed last Thursday, three weeks after the new season had started.