The transfer window closes at 11pm tomorrow night - but I don’t think it should be in place.
From a players’ perspective, the window is purely a restriction of trade. Why should footballers only be allowed to move during a set period of time? It should be about individual choice.
For managers, the window is challenging even at the highest level. If you are a club in the Premier League, Serie A or La Liga and you’ve got a top, top player, you’ve got a real problem if Manchester City come knocking at your door because City can offer contracts and tons of money that your business would simply find impossible to turn down.
At League One level, it is still very much a case that there are always people who will come calling for your better players. You have to be on your guard and use the window to move out players who are not going to play a part and recruit in areas that you feel need strengthening. That’s how I see it.
I don’t particularly wait for a transfer window to do my business. I am looking all the time at ways to strengthen my squad whether that be through a loan or a permanent signing. If we have to line up players ahead of the window opening, then so be it.
It used to be that you could buy a player at any time. It is only because of the huge, huge sums of money across world football that they introduced the window in the first place.
I think in time, and we are not there yet, it will be challenged in the courts, almost like the Bosman ruling was on permanent transfers, and it will be scrapped. One day it will disappear. It won’t be immediately but the window will eventually go.
Of course, the big signing of this transfer window has been Juan Mata from Chelsea to Manchester United.
He’s a fantastic player and, I’m told, a fantastic professional and he won’t be the last big one, you can be sure David Moyes will be making many more signings, certainly come next Summer.
It’s rare for one of the so-called top four clubs to sell to another one, to a fierce rival, and Jose Mourinho might have preferred him to go to Spain or Italy but Chelsea have made a big profit and money has spoken. And the value is the value.
I wouldn’t have done that - I couldn’t see us selling one of our best players to Sheffield United - but when it comes to the finances, that isn’t a manager’s decision.