A flurry of big-money moves before the transfer deadline at midnight Monday took spending by English Premier League sides to the second-highest ever for a winter window.
The likes of Luis Diaz, Bruno Guimaraes and Rodrigo Bentancur in the last few days of January left the league’s gross spending at 295 million pounds ($396 million), according to estimates from finance company Deloitte.
It is only the fifth time the 200 million pounds mark has been breached, with January 2018’s 430 million pounds figure out on its own.
But this season’s figure is in line with the “best of the rest”.
The window two years ago accounted for 230 million pounds of spending, pipping 2011’s then-record 225 million pounds total, while 215 million pounds were spent in January 2017.
Dan Jones, head of Deloitte’s sports business group, said: “This transfer window indicates that the financial pressures of COVID-19 on Premier League clubs are easing, with spending firmly back to pre-pandemic levels and remarkably among the highest we’ve ever seen in January.
“The Premier League continues to lead the way globally, retaining its status as the world’s biggest domestic football league in financial terms, once again supported by full stadia and securing strong overseas broadcast deals.
“Other large European leagues are also edging back to higher spending, but it is Premier League clubs that have notched up the largest total spend in this transfer window, spending almost 150 million pounds more than Serie A clubs, the closest competitor.”
The initial 37.5 million pounds fee Liverpool reportedly paid for Diaz is the highest of the window.
It is narrowly ahead of Guimares’ 35 million pounds arrival at Newcastle United who also paid 25 million pounds for ex-Burnley striker Chris Wood.
Lucas Digne was another player to move for more than 20 million pounds, from Everton to Aston Villa.
Bentancur’s 19 million pounds move to Tottenham stood out as the highest of deadline day.