Biggest-spending January transfer windows in the Premier League

Tom White 30/12/2017
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Liverpool‘s signing of Virgil van Dijk could kick off a record January transfer window in the Premier League.

The Dutch defender will join the Reds from Southampton when the window opens on New Year’s Day, with the fee understood to be £75million.

That alone is a third of the way to the league’s winter record of £225m, set in 2011. The following January was quiet, with just £60m spent by the 20 clubs, but the trend has been upwards ever since and here, Press Association Sport looks back at the biggest-spending winter windows in the Premier League.

2011 – £225m

The key spending came late in the window when Chelsea splashed £50m on Fernando Torres and Liverpool replaced the Spaniard by signing Andy Carroll from Newcastle for £35m and Luis Suarez from Ajax for £22.8m.

The Blues also signed defender David Luiz for the first time for £26.5m, meaning they and Liverpool had combined for over £134m of the total on deadline day alone.

The window’s other big-money moves took strikers Edin Dzeko and Darren Bent to Manchester City and Aston Villa respectively.

Fernando Torres 1

2016 – £175m

January 2012 was quiet, with just £60m spent, and following three winters in the £120m to £130m range there was a jump forward two years ago – though it would be fair to suggest the bulk of that window’s biggest moves were not huge successes.

Giannelli Imbula headed the price chart at £18.2m and failed to make an impact at Stoke and Oumar Niasse has only recently and sporadically begun to justify Everton’s £13.5m outlay.

Newcastle spent £12m apiece on Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey while Benik Afobe and Wahbi Khazri were £9m purchases for Bournemouth and Sunderland respectively.

Oumar Niasse 1

2017 – £215m

Spending came up only just short of the record, though the big-money sales of the likes of Oscar and Odion Ighalo to the Chinese Super League and Dmitri Payet and Memphis Depay to France meant this was the first window ever in which Premier League clubs made a net profit.

The top deals took Gabriel Jesus to Manchester City and Morgan Schneiderlin to Everton but much of the spending came from clubs in the bottom half, led by Crystal Palace laying out £26m on Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Schlupp and West Ham over £18m on Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass.

Gabriel de Jesus

2018 – ?

The upwards trend has been mirrored in the summer windows, giving little reason to suspect spending will slow down – particularly after pro-EU campaign group Open Britain indicated that sterling’s devaluation following the Brexit vote added over £100m to the league’s summer bill.

The Saints have their Van Dijk windfall to spend, with their former star Theo Walcott and out-of-favour Anfield forward Daniel Sturridge reported targets in addition to the defensive replacement they will require.

Clubs will take an interest in Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, both out of contract in the summer at Arsenal – who could make Paris St Germain’s Julian Draxler a pre-emptive replacement – while Besiktas forward Cenk Tosun is a reported £20m-plus target for Everton and Palace.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Conte keen to keep Real Madrid target Hazard at Chelsea

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Antonio Conte wants both Belgian star duo playmaker Eden Hazard and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to remain with champions Chelsea despite speculation they would like to move to Spain.

Hazard’s father told a Belgian newspaper his son doesn’t wish to commit to a new contract – he still has over two years left on his present one – because of apparent interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Courtois, who had a highly successful spell with Atletico Madrid, has said he would like to return to Spain one day especially as his children are being brought up in Madrid.

However, Conte, speaking on the eve of his side’s match with Stoke City, stonewalled on both counts saying in the case of 26-year-old Hazard whatever was said would not be revealed in public.

“This is a private conversation – between the club and the player, and the agent of the player,” said Conte.

“I’m proud to have him in my team, in my squad, and I’m very happy to work with him.

Eden Hazard 4

“He’s a really good guy and has a lot of space for improvement, to become one of the best players in the world.
But, I repeat, on this issue: this must be a private conversation between the player, the player’s agent and the club.”

The 48-year-old Italian – whose side are third in the table 16 points adrift of leaders Manchester City but just one behind a stumbling Manchester United – said he was not aware of the family situation regarding 25-year-old Courtois.

“Courtois has a contract, also for next season, with the club,” said Conte.

“We are talking about a fantastic goalkeeper, a really good guy, and I’m happy to work with him.

“I don’t know about this issue (surrounding Courtois’ family living in Spain).

“For sure, when you are in a great club and you trust in the project, you want to stay. You want to continue to play for this team. The family is not a problem.

“You are talking about two important players for us.

“It’s very important to try to improve your team, to strengthen your team, and not to sell the best players.”

Provided by AFP Sport

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£75m for Van Dijk a good buy for Liverpool, says Pep

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Liverpool have spent well in paying £75 million for Virgil van Dijk, because he thinks high-quality players work out cheaper in the long run.

Guardiola was interested in signing Van Dijk from Southampton, but missed out after Liverpool agreed a deal on Wednesday, with the player making the move officially when the transfer window opens on January 1.

City’s manager has spent heavily on defenders himself since his arrival at the Etihad Stadium in July 2016.

Before the start of this season, he brought in Benjamin Mendy from Monaco in a deal that could be worth £52 million, Kyle Walker from Tottenham for an initial £45 million, and Danilo from Real Madrid for £26.5 million.

That came a year after he spent £47.5 million on signing England centre-back John Stones away from Everton.

“Liverpool took an amazing player,” said Guardiola.

“Van Dijk is an exceptional central defender, that’s a price we’ll see (again) in the future. Sometimes the cheaper players are more expensive than the expensive players. If he played six or seven years at a high level it would be cheap. If he played not well, more expensive.

“John Stones, when he came here, people said he was too expensive. Now he’s too cheap. It always depends on the value of what happens on the pitch.”

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