Date: 28th December 2016 at 5:55am
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Everybody knows the January transfer window opens on January 1 2017 but with games so early in the New Year some early signings may not be eligible to make their competitive debuts straight away.

Owing to Premier League and Football League regulations and the way games fall on January 2, 3 and 4, clubs signing new players and wanting them to debut in those games must have the full paperwork and deal done – including registration – by midday on New Year’s Day.

Rules state that registration has to go through before midday on the working day before the match in question and the New Year’s Day deadline is the fudge this year for those hoping to have quick deals in place.

The likes of Joey Barton with Burnley and Gabriel Jesus with Manchester City, having already been announced, will be immediately registered with their new clubs when the window officially opens along with any other already agreed deals by the time January 1 rolls in.

Come the end of the transfer window, the deadline this year for deals is 11pm on January 31 but of course transfers can be completed following 11pm subject to clubs getting in the required ‘deal sheet’ to have them registered as transferred ahead of the deadline even if not all the paperwork has been completed.

With the window closing on January 31 but League games at a few levels scheduled that day and on February 1, it means to come into contention for their debut on January 31 they need to be registered by midday on January 30 and for February 1 debuts registration is required by midday January 31.

Clear as mud isn’t it.

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