Premier League spending in the current transfer window is already at an all-time record level, with a week remaining.
Figures released by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group showed top-flight clubs had spent £1.17billion on players this summer by 9am on Thursday, breaking the record of £1.165m set last year.
That was already a 34 per cent rise on the previous record for a single window – and with time remaining this time around the numbers could rise to even more breathtaking levels.
Deloitte consultant Chris Stenson believes the unprecedented spending is in line with reasonable expectations, given the riches available to Premier League clubs from the record broadcast deals which took effect last season.
He said: “The level of transfer expenditure in this summer’s window has been extraordinary but when analysed in the context of record broadcast, commercial and matchday revenues, Premier League clubs are spending within their means.
“Their ability to generate these record revenues and attract the world’s very best playing talent continues to drive the Premier League’s status as the most commercially successful football league in the world.”
Manchester United’s £75m signing of Romelu Lukaku has headlined a frenetic summer of spending, with Chelsea and Arsenal also parting with huge fees for strikers Alvaro Morata and Alexandre Lacazette respectively.
Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger are further expensive purchases for the defending champions, while Manchester City have paid out fees of £40m and above for Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva amid plenty of other business.
Mohamed Salah cost Liverpool a reported £34.3m while Merseyside rivals Everton have recruited ambitiously, with a deal for Gylfi Sigurdsson believed to be worth up to £45m and the likes of Davy Klaassen, Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford also arriving at great expense.
Even newly-promoted Huddersfield have broken their transfer record four times this summer as the impact of the television deal is felt throughout the top flight.
And Stenson added: “We expect further significant expenditure in the next seven days as clubs seek value in the market.
“Last summer, Premier League clubs spent around £300m in the final week of the window, more than they did throughout the entire January 2017 window.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has re-signed for Manchester United on a one-year deal.
The 35-year-old scored 28 goals for United during an impressive debut season before it was prematurely cut short by a knee ligament injury.
United did not offer Ibrahimovic a second year on his contract at the end of last season, but the club confirmed on Thursday that they have agreed a new deal with him.
A statement from the club read: “Manchester United is delighted to announce that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will continue his journey with the club and has signed a one-year contract. He will wear the number 10 shirt.”
Ibrahimovic himself said: “I am back to finish what I started. It was always mine and the club’s intention for me to stay.
“I cannot wait to get back out on that Old Trafford pitch, but I also know that I have to take my time to make sure that I am ready.
“I have been working hard and will continue to do so to make sure I am in the best possible condition for my return to the pitch.”
United boss Jose Mourinho added: “We are delighted Zlatan is on the road to recovery and we are equally delighted to have his ambition and experience back with us. After his contribution last season he deserves our trust and we will be patient waiting for him to return. I have no doubt that he will be important in the second part of the season.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Another day in football, another wave of transfer rumours to keep up with. Take a look at the most recent names and gossip being floated around in the media.
Will any of the following deals happen?
Lionel Messi’s father Jorge has opened talks with Manchester City over a move for the Barcelona superstar next summer, reports the Sun.
Barcelona have maintained that Messi will stay at the club, but following Neymar’s world record move to PSG, the possibility of a club paying his €300 million buyout clause seems realistic.
The Argentine has agreed to sign a new four year deal at the Camp Nou, but has still not put pen to paper.
With no contract signed, the 29-year-old has been linked strongly with a move to the Etihad Stadium in 2018, due to his close relationship with Pep Guardiola and director of football Txiki Begiristain.
Messi may have stalled a new Barcelona contract but he is expected to stay at the Camp Nou beyond next summer.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is understandably in no rush to sort out a new deal and will bide his time until a much improved offer comes along, despite strong links to Manchester.
Chelsea winger Willian is in pole position to replace Neymar at Barcelona, according to France Football.
The Brazilian has been unhappy at Stamford Bridge due to restricted game time since Antonio Conte took over last summer.
And while Chelsea would be reluctant to sell their star due to a wafer thin squad, Barca see Willian as the perfect player to add attacking potency on the left flank.
Barcelona are in desperate need of attackers following the loss of Neymar to PSG, and a move away from Stamford Bridge could be a significant boost for Willian.
Willian was a starring presence from the bench last season but having only started 15 Premier League games under Antonio Conte, the Brazilian is deserving of more first-term action.
The 29-year-old would also come much cheaper than either Coutinho or Dembele.
Liverpool and Chelsea target Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is unlikely to sign a deal with Arsenal despite getting an extended first-team role, according to the Telegraph.
The 24-year-old’s current contract expires next summer and boss Arsene Wenger had hoped he would sign an extension with the club reportedly offering more than £100,000 per week.
Neither Liverpool or Chelsea have made a formal offer but may still do so before the window closes next Thursday.
With one year to run on his current contract, Arsenal face a dilemma on whether to let Oxlade-Chamberlain go or offer him a bigger deal.
Oxlade-Chamberlain wants to seek more opportunities in his preferred central midfield role having deployed in a wing-back position to begin the season.
A move away from the Emirates Stadium may be exactly what the 23-year-old needs as he has been an inconsistent presence in Arsene Wenger’s starting lineup recently.