Deals done: Clubs pay big money to beat the transfer deadline

September 1 – It has been a busy week for Europe’s elite that have seen 17 major signings in the past three days ahead of the transfer window closing today.

The flurry of competitive transfer business this late in the window appears to have resorted to a number of clubs, particularly English ones, significantly overpaying for players on their wishlist.

Serial spenders Chelsea appear to have secured the final piece of their attacking puzzle, after weeks of searching, in an out-of-nowhere €45 million deal for promising Man City youngster Cole Palmer, despite overpaying by almost €30 million according to Transfermarkt.

The week was an unusually quiet week for Saudi Arabia: only one player with a market value of over €15 million joins the SPL, the lowest number since the window opened.

That being said, the acquisition of 21-year-old Spanish midfielder Gabri Veiga from Celta Vigo will help to patch up the SPL’s reputation as a retirement home for Europe’s elite. Also, the SPL could be looking to utilise the next few days as their transfer window stays open past the European deadline, meaning they will be free to negotiate with clubs and tempt star players with mammoth contracts.

Manchester City’s freshly-inked deal for Portugal midfielder Matheus Nunes is the largest deal of the week at €62 million: the result of weeks of deliberation and negotiation between Man City and Wolves that saw the fee creep from €45 million to the final fee. The deal was completed and announced this morning.

Ansu Fati’s loan move to Brighton is a real statement of intent for the south coast side, who will be looking to break further into the league’s European places despite losing star players in Alexis MacAllister and Moises Caicedo, who they sold for a combined €158 million. Ansu Fati is a bright young talent that will add a lot of quality to the Seagulls’ front line.

Chelsea continue their trend of having the longest contracts in world football, averaging 7-year deals across all of their acquisitions this summer. €115 million signing Moises Caicedo sits top of the pile with a deal that runs until 2031, by which point the youngster will be facing down his 30th birthday. On the flip side, the Saudi Pro League averages the shortest contract length of any league, as not one of its new players has secured over a three-year deal.

Teams across Europe are using today as their last opportunity to look for options to strengthen their side, with many deals still in the works ahead of the 11pm deadline this evening.

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