Football: Clubs want transfer window

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The Independent Online
A EUROPE-WIDE transfer window became a possibility yesterday following proposals from the newly formed Association of European Premier Leagues. The body also suggested a common European calendar for international fixtures, to avoid clashes with league matches, and said there should be a minimum number of players under the age of 21 in each team's squad.

The 13-strong group met at the offices of the Premier League, with the Sports Minister Tony Banks also in attendance. The three main ideas were put forward for further discussion at the association's next meeting, to be held in March.

The common transfer window policy is the most radical proposal as currently there are widely different arrangements, some leagues having cut-off deadlines and others having transfer windows at various times during the season.

The Premier League chief executive, Peter Lever, said: "We think it might be feasible for the leagues to come together on this point. There is feeling we need harmony throughout Europe to ensure fair play and it's something we will continue to discuss."

The concept of promoting home-grown youth players follows the Scottish Football Association's rule that says at least two Scottish-born players aged under 21 years must be included in each first-team squad. The move to harmonise international dates is to try to limit the number of players missing club games to play in friendlies.

The association represents the leagues of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland, and is officially recognised by Uefa, football's European governing body.

Watford have signed the former Aston Villa, Wolves and England winger Tony Daley until the end of the season. The 31-year-old, who rejoined the Watford manager, Graham Taylor, over the summer on a short-term contract but had to undergo a thigh operation, has played in Watford's last three First Division games.

Alex Ferguson is doing his old club Aberdeen a favour by loaning them the Scotland Under-21 striker Alex Notman for the rest of the season.

Notman has been a regular scorer for Manchester United's reserves, but is down the pecking order behind the likes of Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ferguson has told Notman to get first-team experience at Aberdeen ahead of a big push for a regular place in the United at Old Trafford next season.

The Leeds United manager, David O'Leary, has moved to strengthen his side by signing the 27-year-old former Germany international midfielder Marco Haber on trial. Haber is unsettled at Las Palmas after being with the Spanish Second Division side for just six months.

The former Arsenal and Everton midfielder Anders Limpar has joined the US Major League Soccer club Colorado Rapids for the rest of the season.

The Yugoslav coach Vujadin Boskov, who led Sampdoria to the 1990-91 Italian title, was hired by Perugia yesterday. He replaces Ilario Castagner, who resigned on Monday.

n Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp missed two excellent chances as the Netherlands could only draw 0-0 with Portugal in front of 27,000 at Parc de Princes in Paris last night. Michael Mols had a Dutch goal disallowed for offside five minutes from time. Portugal moved the friendly to Paris for the benefit of 600,000 Portuguese who live in the area. Italy also drew 0-0 in a friendly against Norway in Pisa. Roberto Baggio hit the post with an eighth-minute free-kick and Marco Delvecchio had a goal disallowed for offside.