EPL clubs break January transfer window record

AFP
The sum spent was nearly double the previous record of 225 million pounds, with deadline day alone, January 31, seeing clubs complete deals totalling 150 million pounds.
AFP

ENGLISH Premier League clubs spent a record 430-million pounds (US$611.5 million) in the January transfer window as top sides scrambled to boost their squads in the race to secure lucrative UEFA Champions League spots, according to analysis by Deloitte.

The sum spent was nearly double the previous record of 225 million pounds, with deadline day alone, January 31, seeing clubs complete deals totalling 150 million pounds, also a new record.

Deloitte’s Sports Business Group estimates spending by EPL clubs in the 2017/18 season to be a record 1.9-billion pounds, eclipsing last season’s record of 1.4 billion pounds.

“Premier League clubs have taken the opportunity to refresh their squads in January before the decisive phase of the season,” said Dan Jones, a partner in the accountancy firm.

Nearly two-thirds of the gross expenditure was by the top six, while the bottom six accounted for about a fifth.

The winter transfer window usually sees the bulk of spending by clubs at the bottom of the league as they attempt to spend their way to survival from relegation, although last month’s splurge is more like a normal summer window.

Jones added that international trade had flourished, with the highest-ever January gross overseas outlay in EPL history (260 million pounds), but also the highest amount of January receipts from abroad (185 million pounds), with players such as Philippe Coutinho and Diego Costa leaving England and Aymeric Laporte and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang arriving.

Brazil midfielder Coutinho moved from Liverpool to Barcelona after five seasons at Anfield, while Chelsea’s wantaway Spanish striker Diego Costa left for Atletico Madrid.

Manchester City spent 57 million pounds on Athletic Bilbao defender Laporte and Aubameyang signed for Arsenal for 56 million pounds.

Liverpool got in early to line up the costliest deal of the month, signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton for 75 million pounds.

One of the most high-profile transfers, Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United, was a straight swap deal, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going in the opposite direction to Arsenal.

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