BREXIT has finally happened after nearly four years of negotiations between Brussels and Westminster.
And that means transfers are going to be affected, with the number of lower-quality EU players likely to be restricted as the transfer window opens on January 1 and shuts on February 1 at 11pm.
Would Bruno Fernandes’ transfer to Manchester United have been scuppered by Brexit?Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Virgil van Dijk’s career in Scottish and then English football could have been very different with BrexitCredit: Reuters
Here, SunSport’s CHARLIE WYETT explains what happens next…
WILL BREXIT AFFECT PREMIER LEAGUE TRANSFERS?
Yes, it will have a massive impact on English football.
There is now a strict points system to bring in players from the EU, like the rest of the world, meaning only experienced stars are likely to be allowed.
Because of restricted movement, teams will no longer be able to sign 16-year-olds from the EU and must wait until they are 18.
ANY POSITIVES FROM BREXIT?
Potentially for home-grown players.
Academies become even more important as clubs are forced to focus on kids from this country.
Brexit could also see prices for younger British players increase, while the overall standard of academy graduates looks certain to worsen with top EU talent missing.
WILL IT BE A BUSY WINDOW?
No chance. It will be the quietest month ever.
Clubs have been increasingly keen to avoid doing much business in January and the Covid crisis will ensure there is even less activity.
Income has reduced massively so clubs are not interested in adding to their wage bills.
So big-money swoops for stars such as Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski will be off the table.
SO WILL THERE BE ANY DEALS?
Loan deals for experienced players are the most likely to happen.
If a Premier League club loans a player on £40,000 a week and brings in another one on the same wages, they can freshen up the side without it costing anything.
WHICH CLUBS ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO DO BUSINESS?
Liverpool are in the market for a central defender because Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have long-term injuries and Joel Matip is incapable of staying fit.
However, boss Jurgen Klopp is not certain he will get the player he wants.
At Spurs, midfielder Dele Alli could be leaving on loan while rivals Arsenal want to offload some high-earners but have not had many takers.
Manchester United are chasing defenders, yet they are more likely to do their business in the summer.
Players in the last year of their contracts are now free to talk to overseas clubs, such as Liverpool’s Gini Wijnaldum.
WILL WE SEE YOUNG PLAYERS LOANED OUT BY PREM CLUBS?
January usually sees youngsters who are nowhere near the first team given the second half of the season at an EFL side.
However, the increase to nine subs is meaning that some Prem clubs intend to keep hold of them.