Premier League smashes January transfer record

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City each made their most expensive ever signings to help Premier League clubs set a new record for January transfer window spending.

Bournemouth were the only club not to spend a penny on additions this month, with the other 19 spending a combined £430m – almost double the previous record of £225m.

Analysis by Deloitte reveals that deadline day alone saw clubs complete deals totalling £150m, which is also a new record for the winter window.

That took total spending by Premier League clubs in the 2017/18 season to £1.9bn – eclipsing last season’s record of £1.4bn.

The biggest deals in January were Virgil van Dijk’s long-rumoured £75m move from Southampton to Liverpool, Arsenal’s £60m capture of Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Aymeric Laporte’s £57m switch from Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City.

Aubameyang will replace Alexis Sanchez, who moved to Manchester United

Image: Aubameyang will replace Alexis Sanchez, who moved to Manchester United

Aubameyang – who contributed to the highest ever January overseas outlay in Premier League history (£260m) – moved on deadline day, as did Olivier Giroud from Arsenal to London rivals Chelsea in a deal that could rise to £17.5m.

Theo Walcott was another big name departure from the Emirates in January, completing a £20m move to Everton, with Ross Barkley leaving Merseyside to join French striker Giroud at Stamford Bridge for £15m.

And Tottenham Hotspur got involved late on deadline day, signing Brazilian attacker Lucas Moura from PSG for £25m.

:: Which deals impressed you?

The deals meant that almost two thirds of gross expenditure was by the top six, while the bottom six accounted for about a fifth.

Deloitte’s Dan Jones said: “Such is the level of competition for a coveted top-four position in the Premier League, as well as ongoing European battles, that top clubs have been willing to break with more traditional summer investment strategies to steal a march on their rivals mid-season, with several club transfer records being broken in this window.”

Spending could have reached even higher levels had Manchester City succeeded with a late move for Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, with the 2015/16 champions having rejected a cash-plus-player offer of £65m.

Despite the huge fees registered, plenty of cash was recouped through sales to the continent.

Philippe Coutinho’s £146m move from Liverpool to La Liga leaders Barcelona was the standout, while Spanish forward Diego Costa finally left Chelsea to return to Atletico Madrid.

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Mr Jones said: “While another record-breaking season catches the eye, Premier League clubs’ expenditure continues to be well within their means in the context of revenue generated.

“Estimated 2017/18 net spend of £755m represents just 17% of forecast 2017/18 Premier League revenue, in line with the average over the 15 years since the first transfer window in January 2003, as clubs’ increase investment in players in proportion to the overall growth of the football business.”