Football leagues will be allowed to open transfer windows before the current campaign is concluded under new regulations announced by Fifa on Thursday.
The world governing body announced the measures in response to the delays to leagues across the globe caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has already said England’s top flight will not allow clubs to sign players before 25 July, after the delayed campaign is brought to an end.
Most European leagues have similar plans in place, but Fifa’s new regulations would allow for windows to open earlier, stating that “associations following a dual-year calendar are permitted to commence the ‘first registration period’ for the 2020-21 season prior to the completion of the 2019-20 season, subject to conditions”.
Fifa also announced that players would be allowed to play for up to three clubs – rather than the usual two – during the same season.
The Premier League will return on 17 June, with each club having at least nine matches still to play, while the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League also still have to be completed.