January transfer window 2020: when the transfer window opens for English clubs, rules and deadline day
Months and months of rumours will finally be put to the test as football clubs are given the chance to put their money where their mouths are come January 2020.
Big names like Bale and Pogba have been tipped for big moves, while teams across the country will call on whatever resources are available to them to improve their squad.
Down in the Championship, Wigan are rumoured to be sizing up a loan deal for Liverpool's rising star Rhian Brewster in their quest to avoid the drop, although they'll face a lot of competition.
Elsewhere in Lanacshire, Preston will be seeking re-enforcements to enhance their bid for promotion this season.
Here’s a quick guide to how they can go about doing so during the January transfer window.
When does the transfer window open?
For English Premier League, Championship and Football League clubs, the January transfer window opens for business as soon as the new year begins, on Wednesday 1 January.
For teams based in Portugal, the transfer period doesn’t begin until 3 January, while those in Russia will be waiting all the way to 22 January.
What are the rules?
First of all, players who are signed on 1 or 2 January will not be eligible to play in that week’s games.
After that teams are free to alter their registered squads throughout the January transfer period, meaning any other arrivals can take to the field as soon as they turn up.
Secondly, deals which are still being hammered out when the window snaps shut can still be completed. Between 9pm and 11pm, clubs can submit the details of any ongoing negotiations using a Deal Sheet, giving them until midnight that day to get the deal finished.
Free agents – players that are not contracted to any club – can still sign for a team at any point in the season.
When does it close?
For English sides, the January transfer window slams shut at 11pm on 31 January. However, as previously mentioned, they can take until midnight to wrap up any deals that have already gotten underway.
The same holds true for teams in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This means that the five elite divisions of European football will all call a halt to trading at the same time.
Scottish clubs have an extra hour to burn in their quest to get their man, with their window closing at midnight on the same day.
Portuguese clubs have until the end of 1 February to get their deals over the line, while the Russian window runs on until 22 February, and the Chinese one remains open until 27 February.
This is why rumours of lucrative moves to China often persist long after the European transfer season has ended.