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English Premiership

Premier League January transfer spending plummets

Manchester City players celebrate winning the 2017/18 Premier League title © AFP/File / Paul ELLIS

LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 1Premier League spending in the January transfer window fell for the first time since 2012, with clubs paying a total of Sh23.5bn (£180 million) for new players, according to football finance experts at Deloitte.

Nearly a third of the total expenditure was accounted for by Chelsea’s outlay of around £55 million for Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund, according to the figures.

Last year’s winter transfer window saw top-flight clubs spend £430 million, with big-money moves including defender Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool for £75 million.

However, most of the major transactions this January saw players leaving Premier League sides, with Brahim Diaz moving from Manchester City to Real Madrid, Mousa Dembele moving to Guangzhou R&F from Tottenham and Schalke buying Manchester City’s Rabbi Matondo.

Tim Bridge, director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “As we approach a decisive phase of the season, Premier League clubs’ January transfer spending has been relatively muted in comparison to what we have seen in previous years.”

January spending was at £225 million in 2011 but fell to £60 million in the following year.

It doubled the following year, and remained steady at £130 million in 2014 and 2015, before jumping significantly.

The £180 million transfer bill means total gross spending by Premier League clubs in the 2018/19 season is an estimated £1.4 billion, the second-highest season ever following record spend of £1.9 billion in 2017/18.

Other findings from Deloitte included the so-called “Big Six” clubs accounting for 43 percent of the January expenditure, lower than last year, when this figure stood at 62 percent.

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Newcastle United’s signing of Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron was the biggest deal to go through on deadline day on Thursday, for a reported £20 million.

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Valencia, returned to England on a temporary deal with Crystal Palace.

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