Transfer window: Premier League clubs set spending record with week to go to deadline day

Moises Caicedo holds a Chelsea shirt after signing for the club

Premier League clubs have spent a record £1.95bn on players in this summer’s transfer window – with a week still to go before deadline day.

“This sensational level of spending appears to be the new norm for Premier League clubs,” said Deloitte’s Calum Ross.

Clubs are set to break the £2bn barrier in the coming days, the report adds.

“For the second year in a row, the summer transfer spending by Premier League clubs has surpassed the previous record and looks set to rise above £2bn for the first time before the window closes on 1 September,” added Ross, assistant director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.

No Premier League transfers hit the £100m mark last summer, but this year Chelsea have added Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo to their ranks for a £100m fee that could rise to a British club record of £115m, while Arsenal signed England midfielder Declan Rice from West Ham for £100m plus £5m in add-ons.

Champions Manchester City have bought £77m defender Josko Gvardiol, , £55.4m winger Jeremy Doku and midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who arrived for £25m from Chelsea.

Rivals Manchester United have a new striker in £72m Rasmus Hojlund , while fellow Champions League side Newcastle United brought in Italy midfielder Sandro Tonali for £55m and Leicester forward Harvey Barnes for £38m.

At the other end of the table, promoted Burnley have spent an estimated £95m, including a club record £19m deal for England Under-21 goalkeeper James Trafford.

Last year’s Premier League runners-up Arsenal added to the Rice deal by buying Kai Havertz for £65m and Ajax defender Jurrien Timber for £34m.

Chelsea’s potentially record-breaking spend on Caicedo was just one part of their outlay.

Chelsea have spent an estimated £340m on nine players so far in this transfer window, more than any other side in Europe. The highest summer spend by any club in the world before now had been Real Madrid’s £292m spree in 2019.

It means Chelsea have spent approaching £900m since Todd Boehly’s takeover of the club last summer.

Ross says “the receipt of significant investment from new ownership” is one of the factors driving the high spending, along with clubs “generating unprecedented levels of revenue”.

Spending is £500m higher than it was at the same point in last summer’s transfer window. It went on to rise by a further £500m in the last week of the summer 2022 window, including by £120m on deadline day.

Analysis also shows the average value of fee-paying transfers-in to Premier League clubs is £25m – higher than last summer’s £20m.

However, Ross warns clubs still need to be mindful of their spending. Not all are enjoying a summer spree – Wolves fans were recently warned by their owner of the need to be cautious as the club sought to meet the Premier League’s financial fair play rules. The financial position ultimately saw manager Julen Lopetegui leave the club three days before the start of the new season.

“As we approach the end of the transfer window, it remains imperative that clubs manage the buying and selling of players carefully and remain compliant with relevant financial regulations. Sustainable business plans are essential to support continued competitiveness and long-term growth,” said Ross.

The Saudi effect

While spending has risen to record-breaking levels, net spending is down 25% on last summer, from £1.1bn to £825m.

Deloitte says this is thanks to Premier League clubs receiving significant fees for players from other global leagues – most notably, Saudi Arabia.

A push by the Saudi authorities to make the Pro League one of the most competitive in the world has seen a host of major names arrive for big money.

In June, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) said it was taking over four leading clubs in the country to increase their spending power. The four include Al-Nassr, who signed Cristiano Ronaldo in December – Spain defender Aymeric Laporte was the club’s latest recruit this week, joining for £23.6m from Manchester City.

Another PIF-owned outfit, Al-Ahli, have signed French winger Allan Saint-Maximin from Newcastle for an undisclosed fee and paid £30m deal to bring Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez to the club.

A third team, Al-Hilal, bought Fulham’s Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic for a reported £50m and Wolves’ Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves for a similar fee. Their rivals and the last of the PIF-owned quartet, Al-Ittihad, added Liverpool midfielder Fabinho to their ranks for £40m.

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