Europe’s elite lead way in $5 billion spree
The summer transfer window saw $4.71 billion spent worldwide, over three quarters of which were from the top five European leagues, FIFA announced on Thursday.
Paris Saint-Germain’s worldrecord signing of Neymar from Barcelona for $264 million dominated the headlines, but many of Europe’s other big clubs also broke their own transfer records.
“Between June 1 and Sept 1, 7,590 international transfers were completed worldwide,” FIFA said in a statement.
“Global spending reached $4.71 billion, meaning clubs spent almost as much during those three months as they had in the whole of 2016 ($4.79 billion).”
PSG also signed teenager Kylian Mbappe from Monaco on a season-long loan, with an option to make him the second-most expensive player of all-time for $214 million.
Largely down to PSG, France saw the biggest increase in international transfer spending, with its clubs spending $604.1 million, an increase of 250 percent on last summer.
Five-time European champions Bayern Munich and Barcelona also set new club records for Corentin Tolisso and Ousmane Dembele respectively.
FIFA’s report found that clubs in Europe’s top five leagues spent $3.67 billion, a new transfer-window record.
“Once again, clubs from the Big 5 (England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy) took center tage, completing 21.2 percent of the total incoming transfers and spending 77.9 percent of the total global spend,” FIFA added.
English clubs spent the most on players — a total of $1.4 billion, more than double that of any other country.
The chaotic nature of the transfer window has prompted calls for reforms, with English Premier League clubs voting to end their window before the start of the 2017-18 season.