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Zidane favours transfer window closing before season start


Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane added his voice Friday to the growing clamour for the summer transfer window to close before the season starts across Europe.

English Premier League clubs voted on Thursday to shut the 2018 close-season transfer window before the start of the 2018-19 campaign following complaints by managers that transfer activity disturbs their preparations.

The transfer window in Europe’s other major leagues runs until August 31, meaning clubs outside England could buy players from English top-flight teams after the new Premier League deadline.

“I think the same thing as most people do,” said Zidane.

“The transfer window must stop when the league restarts. When official competition restarts, it must stop, that’s clear.”

Zidane added: “We can’t change our team during competition, that’s what I think and that’s the opinion of most people” in world football.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has also given his support to making the close-season player trading period, introduced by world governing body FIFA in 2002, shorter.

Turning to matters even more political, Zidane said he could “not imagine a La Liga without Barcelona” in reference to another attempt by Catalonia to wrest free of Madrid.

Catalan leaders have slated an independence referendum for October 1, something Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has branded an “intolerable act of disobedience”.

Spanish sporting authorities have often warned that Barca and other Catalan clubs would be excluded from national competition should there be secession in Catalonia.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen exactly,” Zidane said.

“There some people for, some against, it’s a complicated debate. I hope that it won’t happen, I don’t want it.”

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