By David Owen
9 August – The Premier League’s summer transfer window closed on Thursday evening (August 8) with clubs narrowly failing to break the £1.43 billion spending record set in summer 2017.
According to figures supplied by Deloitte, the professional services firm, English top-tier clubs had spent a total of £1.41 billion by the time the latest window closed. This is the second-highest aggregate since introduction of the transfer window system in 2003.
Deadline day brought spending of £170 million by Premier League clubs, some £40 million less than two years ago, the record year.
Biggest spenders, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, were said to be Arsenal, with £155 million. They were followed by Manchester City (£150 million), Manchester United (£145 million), newly-promoted Aston Villa (£125 million) and ambitious Everton (£110 million).
Among the highest-profile deals were those which saw Manchester United spend a world record fee on a defender of £80 million for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire and Arsenal break their transfer record on £72 million man Nicolas Pepe.
Deloitte assessed clubs’ net player expenditure to August 8 at £625 million, the lowest for four years. Three clubs – Chelsea, Crystal Palace and European champions Liverpool – were said to have recorded net transfer receipts.
In other major West European markets, where the window stays open until early September, La Liga is leading the way, with spending having exceeded £1 billion for the first time.
Two-thirds of this total has been disbursed by just three clubs: Atlético Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid. The three highest-profile signings have seen João Félix move from Portugal’s Benfica to Atlético for £113 million, French talisman Antoine Griezmann switch from Atléti to Barcelona for £107 million and Eden Hazard go from Chelsea to Real Madrid for £89 million.
Deloitte puts current spending totals for Italy’s Serie A at some £935 million, Germany’s Bundesliga at around £605 million and France’s Ligue 1 at approximately £375 million.
According to Dan Jones, partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, the summer has seen over half of Premier League clubs break their individual player transfer records.
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