Villas-Boas wants the transfer window shut at start of season


Andre Villas-Boas is to propose a dramatic re-structuring of the transfer window at Uefa's influential elite coaches' forum in Nyon on Wednesday.

The Chelsea manager is to push for the window to be closed country-by-country before the start of its respective league season. That would have meant, for example, all transfers in and out of the Premier League halting on 12 August this year. Villas-Boas may well receive widespread support from managers who feel the current situation, with the window closing after a season has begun, makes their lives hell.

"The window should close on the day that the season starts," he said. "It makes sense because it gives tranquility to the managers to address their team building and I think it's fair. It is my first time at the meeting (which is for the managers of the 32 Champions League teams) so it may look pretty stupid but I won't look too ridiculous because I know at least one manager will support me."

That is Vitor Pereira, his former assistant at Porto now coaching the Portuguese champions. "I know he is of the same opinion because Porto is a targeted club for the biggest talent and lives in an uncomfortable situation as well. When I was there last year I went through the same uncertainty because at Porto there are release clauses so you know that if somebody arrives with that price, the player is gone. The Porto manager is suffering that at the moment." The irony is that it is Villas-Boas who is inflicting that suffering as Chelsea are seeking to buy Porto's Uruguayan international Alvaro Pereira.

At present the transfer window closes Europe-wide on 31 August. Tying it to individual seasons would be complicated as they often begin on a different weekend (this year, were it not for industrial action, the German, English, Spanish and Italian leagues were scheduled to begin on four successive weekends). However, Villas-Boas pointed out there are already different dates. The Brazilian window closed in July (which helped scupper Carlos Tevez's proposed move to Corinthians). The Russian, American and Japanese dates are also different, which is more relevant as football becomes increasingly global.

For the moment Villas-Boas has to operate within the rules as they are and as well as Pereira, who is a replacement for Yuri Zhirkov, he is seeking a midfielder. With the prospect of signing Luka Modric receding, Villas-Boas said he was happy to go with the squad he has if necessary. "We have a lot of versatility, enough in our squad to fill in these bits and pieces," he said.

The Premier League, added Villa-Boas, was more competitive than he remembered from his time at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho. "Liverpool look stronger, I put them as contenders. They have made the same kind of investment as Manchester City who look strong and amazing. We're looking at five contenders, and one outsider can happen. It's extremely competitive this year."