How should Premier League change the transfer window?

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Deadline day the day before the season begins? Yes please.

[ MORE: Chelsea to spend $155 million? ]

Reports on Monday stated that next month the Premier League will discuss how to change the rules for the 2018-19 summer transfer window, with an end to the window shutting two weeks into the new season proposed.

It is believed that will be the main proposal at the shareholders meeting as 14 of the 20 PL clubs would have to vote in favor of the notion for it to become a reality. It is believed the majority of Premier League clubs would like to have the transfer window end before the season begins.

For the Premier League, what have they got to lose by trying this?

[ MORE: PL Playback – Week 1 ]

The main issue is that the transfer windows across the rest of Europe will not fall in line with their new date, and with leagues in Germany, Spain and Italy historically starting later than the PL, those clubs may have an advantage when it comes to buying players until the end of August with PL clubs having their hands tied if a player from Spain, Italy or elsewhere suddenly becomes available. That’s tricky but then it would force PL clubs to get their business done early and deal with it, even if they lose a player to a club elsewhere in Europe.

It is proposed that the transfer window closing before the 2018-19 season begins would only limit the buying or loaning of players, while PL players can still be sold to other leagues in England and abroad. That’s the biggest issue but it’s avoidable if they club decides it is not selling at any price. Of course, this situation gets trickier with release clauses, but maybe we will just see less of these agreed to in players’ contracts?

With the situations regarding Gylfi Sigurdsson, Virgil Van Dijk, Philippe Coutinho, Ross Barkley, Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa rumbling on, we’ve been without some of the PL’s top stars to start the season. Aside from the obvious reason of wanting them out on the pitch to increase the level of play, their clubs haven’t got settled squads when the action kicks off and it creates a huge amount of uncertainty and negativity.

No changes to the January transfer window, which will run from Jan. 1 until Jan. 31, are proposed, but having the window shut at the start of the season makes sense. It is logic and enables squads to have their team set in place for the entire season rather than scrambling in the final weeks of the window, when prices are at a premium, to find replacements for their star player who has decided he wants to move to a bigger club a la Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool to Barcelona.

Having deadline day on the Thursday before a season begins would create a mega event where fans would throw parties to not only celebrate late signings ahead of the season but also celebrate the start of the year. Think about how you and other fans of your team were feeling last week before the 2017-18 campaign kicked off. Optimism was in the air. The birds were chirping delightfully. The sun was shinning brighter. Crystal Palace were going to finish in the top six.

If you had that feeling coupled with the safety of knowing your squad kicking off the season would be in place until at least Jan. 1, it would be a lot more enjoyable for fans, players, managers, clubs, literally everyone involved.

Of course there will be teething problems along the way, but it’s easy to see why most PL clubs are behind trying something different when it comes to the transfer window. Having multiple star players sitting on the sidelines for the opening two weeks of the season with minor injuries or “not in the right frame of mind” to play isn’t a good look and looks like be the final straw.

Something has to change and this is the most logical option for the Premier League, but finding a way to integrate all of Europe’s top leagues into one date would still be the best option and a very tricky one to negotiate.

Three Eastern Conference sides on record-setting pace

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2017 saw Toronto FC dominate the MLS regular season before going on to hoist the club’s first MLS Cup in club history.

[ MORE: Whitecaps teen Alphonso Davies nearing Bayern Munich move ]

Fast forward to this season, and three more Eastern Conference sides are poised to break barriers as they continue a near record-setting pace.

Atlanta United, New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls have created a sizable gap over the rest of the East with nearly one-third of the season remaining.

Toronto’s 69-point regular season total a year ago looked like a record that wouldn’t be touched for some time, however, the current trio of dominating forces in the East are all on pace to finish 2018 with 68 points.

Atlanta, NYCFC and the Red Bulls are all averaging two points per game, while Toronto averaged slightly above that total (2.03 ppg) during their MLS Cup-winning run.

The Red Bulls and NYCFC, in particular, could be in line to follow in the footsteps of last season’s Toronto FC.

Manager Chris Armas and the Red Bulls play 10 of their final games against teams outside the current playoff lines in their respective conferences, while Atlanta and NYCFC face five and four playoff teams, respectively.


Here’s a look at how the three teams will finish up the 2018 regular season:

Atlanta United (12 matches)

Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, Columbus Crew, Orlando City, D.C. United, Colorado Rapids, San Jose Earthquakes, Real Salt Lake, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Chicago Fire, Toronto FC

New York City FC (14 matches)

Orlando City, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls, Columbus Crew, New England Revolution, D.C. United, Montreal Impact, Chicago Fire, Minnesota United, D.C. United, Philadelphia Union

New York Red Bulls (15 matches)

D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Los Angeles FC, Chicago Fire, Vancouver Whitecaps, New York City FC, D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, Montreal Impact, D.C. United, Toronto FC, Atlanta United, San Jose Earthquakes, Philadelphia Union, Orlando City

Mesut Ozil discusses critique of Turkish background

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Germany’s dismissal from the World Cup came as a shock to many, but one of its players received heavier scrutiny for off-the-field actions.

[ MORE: Whitecaps teen Alphonso Davies nearing move to Bayern ]

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil appeared in two of the three group stage matches for the Germans in Russia, however, his play was overshadowed by his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prior to the start of the tournament.

The meeting between the two caused several German media outlets to criticize Ozil due to the heated relations between the two European nations.

Additionally, Ozil says his brand was affected as well, with various sponsors pulling their support due to the meeting with Erdogan.

The 29-year-old is of Turkish and German descent, which would have made him eligible to represent either country.

Ozil took to Twitter on Sunday to discuss how the ordeal has affected how the media and sponsorship has affected him over the last month.

Barcelona, Sevilla to play Spanish Super Cup in Morocco

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La Liga champions Barcelona will meet Sevilla in the 2018 Spanish Super Cup in Tangier, Morocco on August 12.

[ MORE: Klopp talks Pulisic, Liverpool spending ]

The Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF) announced the decision on Sunday, as Barca looks to kick off the 2018 season against last year’s Copa Del Rey runners’ up.

Lionel Messi and Co. defeated Sevilla, 5-0, in the 2017/18 Copa Del Rey final, giving the Blaugrana a domestic double for the first time since the 2015/16 campaign.

La Liga play opens up in Spain on August 19, however, the full fixture list will be revealed on Tuesday.

Ibrahimovic: MLS is “lucky I didn’t come 10 years ago”

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a major bright spot, as expected, in his debut season in Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: Whitecaps teen Alphonso Davies nearing Bayern Munich transfer ]

The LA Galaxy striker recorded a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, raising his goal tally to 12 on the year — which ranks fourth-best in the league.

At the age of 36, Ibrahimovic has shown he’s more than capable of producing as a veteran, but it raises the question: how amazing would he have been in MLS had he joined sooner?

Following the Galaxy’s win over the Union, Ibrahimovic joked with media, suggesting he could have had the entire country in his hand if he had arrived in the United States sooner.

“They’re lucky I didn’t come 10 years ago,” Ibrahimovic said, “because I would be the president today.”