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January transfer window could now be ABOLISHED as top clubs seek huge football overhaul

Leading European clubs backing proposals to scrap the winter window

The January transfer window could be abolished as the game’s biggest clubs seek to change football again.

Last week the Premier League announced it would effectively cut the summer window short by three weeks next year.

Dimitri Payet forced his return to Marseille from West Ham last January

AFP or licensors
Dimitri Payet forced his return to Marseille from West Ham last January

Chelsea sold Oscar to the Chinese Super League for a massive £60m

Chelsea sold Oscar to the Chinese Super League for a massive £60m

The significant step, voted through by the minimum majority of 14 votes in favour, will not prevent European sides raiding the English teams in the period between August 9 and August 31.

But it was seen as the way of ensuring the integrity of the competition, a situation brought into question when Arsenal fielded Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at Liverpool last month, barely 72 hours before the England midfielder completed his move to Merseyside.

And now Europe’s elite clubs – at least the traditional ones, rather than the newly-enriched “interlopers” like PSG – are plotting to end the winter window as well.

The January window was introduced in 2003 as a Uefa-led response to the threat posed to contract stability by the repercussions of the Bosman ruling.

Premier League clubs, who had initially been in favour of the idea, then changed tack but were effectively forced to accept the new situation.

Coutinho faces new competition from the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to Liverpool on deadline day

Yet Europe’s leading clubs are now discussing the idea of ending the winter window to prevent clubs being stripped of key players half-way through the season.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has led calls for the January window to be ended, while Jose Mourinho suggested that most clubs see the winter period as useful only to sign “a specific player who is in the end of his contract” or for “an emergency buy”.

And it seems that Wenger is ahead of the curve with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus among the major European clubs seeking to change the transfer calendar by pushing for just one summer window to allow deals to take place.

Jose Mourinho claims the market has changed 'for the worse' following Neymar's PSG transfer

The Times - Marc Aspland
Jose Mourinho has said that the January window is only useful for ’emergency’ signings

Those clubs appear determined to do something to halt the advance of PSG, with the astonishing signings of both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe shocking the established elite with the financial power to get anything they want.

But the idea has also begun to gain traction within the Prem, with clubs keen to find a way of ensuring they do not lose players against their will once the season has started.

And if the major clubs successfuly lobby with Uefa and Fifa, arguing that the integrity of the game must be paramount, the January window may be closed for good by 2019.