Belfast Telegraph

Bosses uneasy with transfer window

Premier League managers continue to voice their uneasiness with the summer transfer window - but the spending is showing no signs of abating.

The top-flight clubs look set to take summer spending to record levels ahead of Monday's transfer deadline, with upwards of £460million spent on players since the end of last season.

A number of managers have called for the transfer window to close before the first matches of the season in future to allow clubs to concentrate fully on their fixtures.

Everton's Roberto Martinez, irritated by Manchester United's pursuit of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, and Newcastle's Alan Pardew, furious at Arsenal's offer for Yohan Cabaye hours before a game, have been among the most vociferous.

Despite the move for Cabaye, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has also called for an early closure, as has Swansea's Michael Laudrup, in the past fortnight.

Yet while the window does remain open, clubs appear to have no issue with continuing to pursue targets.

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke said: "I think it should close before the season starts, but I'm glad it hasn't because I still need players."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers also feels it would be better if the deadline passed before the start of the season.

He said: "I just think there's something morally not right when players are sat in a changing room and the season has already kicked off, you are under way in your job and - I'm sure in every changing room around the country, no matter what level - there will be players asked, and agents working to get them to other clubs.

"I think that makes it ultra-difficult."

The difficulty of co-ordinating the transfer window with other European leagues has been cited as the principal reason why the deadline has not been brought forward.

Wenger would like to see a change but does not believe the lobbying of managers will make much of an impact.

Wenger said: "If only England closes it, you can still have the same instability, because Spain starts in September and will keep the transfer window open.

"In England, as much as the managers have quite a good power inside the club, little is their power on a decision level in the Premier League - they have nothing to say at all. I cannot see how that can change."

Manchester City have been one of the heaviest spenders of the summer, paying almost £90million on Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic.

They continue to be linked with a move for Atletico Madrid defender Martin Demichelis, but the club are happy to have got their main business done many weeks ago.

Manager Manuel Pellegrini said: "We tried to do it as soon as we could.

"We have just a few (more) things. We have three days to do it.

"They are the rules, everyone knows the rules. We have a date to finish and I think it is a good date - three months from when the last Premier League finished to next Monday, 90 days is a lot of days."

Tottenham are now the summer's biggest spenders after taking their outlay past £90million with the captures of Argentina midfielder Erik Lamela from Roma for around £25.8million and defender Vlad Chiriches for £8.5million from Steaua Bucharest.

Much of their expenditure will be recouped if and when Gareth Bale completes his anticipated world record move to Real Madrid but that protracted deal is still to be concluded.

Such willingness on the part of Premier League clubs to spend has been fuelled in part by the competition's new £5.5billion TV deals, which came into effect this season.

The combined £500million summer record set in 2008 looks likely to be broken.

Spurs may not be finished there with Ajax playmaker Christian Poulsen also linked with White Hart Lane.

Manchester United are also keen to strengthen but Everton continue to resist attempts to part with Baines and Fellaini. There are also reports Athletic Bilbao have rejected a £25.5million bid for midfielder Ander Herrera from Old Trafford.

West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie, who infamously failed to secure a deadline day move to QPR in January, seems set to move this time and has been linked with Swansea, Cardiff and Stoke.

QPR are now in the Championship but, perhaps with the Odemwingie fiasco in mind, manager Harry Redknapp has also called for changes to the deadline.

He said: "I think maybe when the first game of the season kicks in would be a good time to close it, then we could all concentrate on the football.

"You don't want to be running around at 11pm trying to get a player in. Hopefully we can get a couple in before then but you never know."

Meanwhile, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has claimed striker Ricardo Vaz Te, who this week voiced his frustration at a lack of action, might have been tapped up.

Allardyce said: "Generally when you make (a statement) like that, they've been tapped up. Someone would've probably already contacted him."


From Belfast Telegraph