Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Villa boss O'Neill criticises transfer window

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has called for the winter transfer window to be scrapped, claiming it is a "waste of a month".

O'Neill is against the current format which allows transfers to take place in January, but also recommended that if it must stay, it would be more tolerable if it was longer than one month.

"Should the transfer window stay? I hope not," said O'Neill, who brought in Wigan striker Emile Heskey for £3.5million last month.

"I think if the Premier League haven't discussed it, then they should do. It is a waste of a month.

"I accept the fact a couple of years ago it was fine for us when we brought in people like Ashley Young and John Carew.

"But you have got to look at this situation because it is claustrophobic. I see it serving no fantastic benefit. I don't know what the point of it is."

He added: "An extension of time at least would be something. I know that the reasons for it coming in was so that clubs couldn't end up effectively being able to buy the European Cup and I accept that you can't go on buying forever.

"You can't arrive at a cup final and still have the ability to buy nine players the night before. But a bit of an extension would do no harm."

Villa utility player Nigel Reo-Coker has returned to training after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury and could make the weekend Barclays Premier League clash at Blackburn.

O'Neill confirmed: "If Nigel gets in a full week's training, he could put himself forward for the Blackburn game."

Reo-Coker has filled in at either right-back or on the right flank for the majority of the season and has seldom played in his preferred central midfield role.

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