Leeds United: Window is already open for business says the EFL

Pontus Jansson.
Pontus Jansson.
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The EFL confirmed last night that its transfer window for domestic signings was already open after the Premier League brought forward its own window to comply with FIFA rules.

The Premier League will begin allowing domestic transfers tomorrow, a month earlier than usual, to abide by a FIFA ruling which states that governing bodies must allow at one window each year to run for at least 12 weeks.

Clubs in England’s top flight recently voted to move this summer’s deadline from August 31 to August 9, ensuring that their window closes before the start of the 2018-19 season.

EFL sides followed suit by deciding that all permanent deals must be sealed by the same date. The EFL, however, will still allow standard loans to be sanctioned until August 31.

An announcement from the EFL yesterday revealed that its domestic window had opened on May 7, the day after the end of the Football League campaign. FIFA has set June 9 as the date when international transfers can begin taking place.

The development opens the door for Leeds United to begin the process of rebuilding their squad after an underwhelming 13th-placed finish in the Championship.

United are expected to put more focus on UK-based signings having recruited heavily from abroad last summer and centre-back Kyle Bartley remains a prime target despite Swansea City’s relegation from the Premier League.

Leeds, who have made preliminary enquiries about Bartley, were optimistic that Swansea would be happy to sell the defender had they retained their Premier League status.

Swansea’s drop into the Championship after a seven-year absence from the Football League is likely to raise Bartley’s value and complicate negotiations but the defender is understood to be keen to return to Elland Road, where he played on loan during the 2016-17 season, and United will persist with attempts to add him to their squad.

United have also been looking at out-of-contract Barnsley full-back Andy Yiadom and Swansea City forward Oli McBurnie, though the club are yet to decide on whether to move for Yiadom and McBurnie is not believed to be top of the list of strikers drawn up by their scouting department.

Leeds have an option in place to take Carpi forward Jerry Mbakogu, a forward who would cost in the excess of £3m, but are still weighing up that deal amid interest in other forwards.

Head coach Paul Heckingbottom, meanwhile, remains in his post despite constant speculation about his future over the past month.

Heckingbottom returned to England with his squad after their post-season tour of Myanmar on Sunday and was due to hold more discussions about the club’s plans for the summer this week before departing on holiday.

The former Barnsley boss promised in the final week of the season that he would hold “honest and difficult discussions” with Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani, saying: “It needs to be done because I’m really clear in my mind about what needs to happen.

“It’s not about apportioning blame, no chance, but it’s about looking at where we are, what needs to be done and what’s the end product.

“What’s the club going to be like going forward? Everyone’s emphasis should be on ‘what do we need to do to make this team win’?”