Transfer window haunts managers
LONDON — With just over a week to go until the British transfer window closes for four months, several Premier League clubs are steeling themselves to resist raids on their young stars from bigger rivals.
The managers of West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Southampton, to name but three, fear new bids for players they have insisted they want to keep.
And all three have criticisedsed the way the window will still be open four matches into the newew Premier League season, whichich started a week earlier than usualual because of next summer’s Euroropean Championship finals.
Southampton’s manager Rononald Koeman described the 1 Sepeptember deadline as “crazy” andnd said it should be on 1 August before any matches are played.
He is concerned about speculalation linking his Senegalese wingnger Sadio Mane to Manchesterter United and Kenyan midfielderder Victor Wanyama to Tottenham.m. After Southampton’s 0-0 draw at Watford on Sunday he insistedted “nobody is for sale”.
One of the problems has beeneen that playing three or four gamesmes while the window is still open enables rich clubs to identify weakaknesses in their squad, sometimesmes caused by additional injuries or suspensions.
Tottenham fall into that cateegory and manager Mauricio Po- chettino, who was in charge at Southampton before leaving last year, is reported likely to be reunited with Wanyama.
The first three games have also exposed his team’s over-dependence on striker Harry Kane and Pochettino confirmed last week he wanted another forward.
Without naming West Bromwich’s England Under-21 international Saido Berahino, who is widely believed to be the main target, the Spurs manager said at the weekend that “maybe in the next few days we can strengthen the team a little bit more”.
Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy has a reputation for leaving deals until the last minute and the selling club has little or no time to find a replacement.
Albion have already paid a club record fee for a new striker of their own in Salomon Rondon from Zenit St Petersburg.
The continuing rumours about Berahino, however, have annoyed man- ager Tony Pulis, who left him out of Sunday’s home defeat by Chelsea.
“Saido’s a great lad but this can be disruptive,” he said. “There’s loads of things going on and there’s people saying things and doing things.
“It’s the transfer window that causes the problem. There are still seven days to go. The kid shouldn’t have this problem. Nobody should. The season has started.”
Everton have been aware for some time of Chelsea’s interest in young England defender John Stones, which is likely to have increased after the champions conceded seven goals in their first three games and now have captain and centre-half John Terry suspended following his sending-off at West Bromwich.
Everton’s captain Phil Jagielka, who plays alongside the 21-year-old Stones, said in interviews before Sunday’s defeat by Manchester City that the present system led to uncertainty and “unsettles people”.
“I cannot get my head round why it works the way it does,” he added.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez reiterated after the match how keen the club were to keep Stones. But like Pulis, Koeman and others, he faces an uncomfortable wait until 7pm next Tuesday. — Reuters
Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama. West Bromwich forward Saido Berahino.