Express & Star

Carlos Corberan remains wary of late-closing windows

Boss Carlos Corberan has admitted fluctuating global transfer deadlines will be another ‘challenge’ for Albion to overcome.

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Carlos Corberan (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The transfer window for the top four divisions in England shut last Friday night, with Albion concluding business with the loan signing of Spanish full-back Pipa from Ludogorets in Bulgaria.

This year, though, several leagues across Europe and the world are still open. Some closed this week and some are about to close, most notably the big-spending Saudi Pro League, which shuts today.

Corberan admits the late deadlines are more of a concern for Premier League clubs, but could remain an issue for clubs like Albion.

“This market is going to be different for everyone in the world. The fact that this year there appears new markets, for example Saudi Arabia, and they don’t have the same timeline as Europe, it’s different,” Corberan said.

“Not just for West Bromwich, but for football, the free players’ market is going to be more useful this year than previous years because some things can happen, that nobody expects, in the next two weeks.

“Everyone is talking like Saudi is doing something negative for football - no. They are putting the money in, this is what they’re doing. England, in the Premier League, is a competition which is putting in the money.

“Normally, the best players, when someone can pay for the best players they can achieve the best in the world.

“The only problem, the only difficulty, starts now, but normally for the Premier League clubs than for the Championship clubs. We still have here some players who have played in the Premier League and is a good player, we are still going to have the same challenge to beat those difficulties that can appear.

“When someone comes for a good player and you can only add free players...this summer the free players were important at the beginning and they’re going to be important now the window has closed – for teams in the Premier League, the top league in Spain, in clubs where this market has more focus and interest.”

Other leagues including the top flights in Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece and Okay Yokuslu’s homeland of Turkey, where the window does not shut until Friday, September 15.

Albion’s financial situation, without ownership investment and having parachute payments run dry, meant they spend the summer window balancing between squad-cutting to balance the books and trying to help Corberan refresh his group.

The addition of three players – one permanent free transfer in Josh Maja and loans for Jeremy Sarmiento and Pipa – was, unsurprisingly, one of the most inactive summer window’s in the club’s recent history.

There were departures, a key early exit for Dara O’Shea to Premier League Burnley helped Albion have a firmer footing to negotiate deals.

David Button’s contract was mutually terminated and he joined Reading. Karlan Grant and Taylor Gardner-Hickman left on loan for Cardiff and Bristol City.

No other departures arrived. Alex Palmer was subject of Luton interest but opted to stay, Brandon Thomas-Asante drew rejected offers from Stoke and Coventry were priced out of a move for John Swift. Nathaniel Chalobah was in talks with a move to Israel and Alex Mowatt was subject of late-window loan interest from Sheffield Wednesday. It is understood there were more approaches for Albion players throughout the summer.

It is likely Albion’s plight to balance the books will continue in January, though with windows across the continent and beyond still open, it could still prove a cause for concern for bosses, for now.