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Premier League clubs took their transfer deadline day spending to a record £210m with a late flurry of deals but some of the highest-profile moves of the window failed to materialise.
Despite top-flight clubs’ total summer outlay reaching £1.4bn – another record – Alexis Sanchez, Ross Barkley, Virgil van Dijk, Riyad Mahrez, Thomas Lemar, Diego Costa and Ross Barkley all remained at their clubs.
The deadline-day record – breaking last year’s £155m mark – was only confirmed well after the 23:00 BST deadline.
Chelsea’s £35m signing of Danny Drinkwater and Mamadou Sakho’s £26m move to Crystal Palace were both announced after 01:00 BST.
Chelsea signed Davide Zappacosta, Spurs recruited Swansea striker Fernando Llorente for £15m and the Welsh club replaced him with Wilfried Bony for £12m – all after the window had closed.
Philippe Coutinho, the subject of a rejected £114m bid from Barcelona earlier in August, remains a Liverpool player but could still move as the Spanish window does not close until 23:00 BST on Friday.
Big deals from earlier in the day included:
Premier League eclipses Europe as records tumble
The £1.4bn spent by Premier League clubs this summer eclipsed the previous record of £1.165bn and is almost £1bn more than was paid out in transfer fees just five years ago, with clubs each spending an average of £71m (up from £58m in 2016).
Despite Manchester City’s failure to sign deadline-day targets Sanchez and West Brom defender Jonny Evans, Pep Guardiola’s side led the way – their £215m outlay is the biggest by any club in any transfer window.
Six of the top 10 spending windows for individual clubs have come this summer, with Paris St-Germain (Neymar for £200m) and Barcelona (Ousmane Dembele for up to £135.5m) making the two biggest signings of all time.
The Premier League clubs’ ability to pay such vast sums is largely linked to the fact they are entering the second season of a three-year £5.136bn TV deal.
Key findings from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group
- Premier League clubs’ summer spending as a proportion of estimated 2017-18 revenue is 31%
- Net expenditure is £665m, £20m less than last summer’s record of £685m
- Four clubs received more than they spent in transfer fees – Swansea City, Arsenal, Burnley and Stoke City
- Since the introduction of the transfer window system in January 2003, gross player transfer spending has exceeded £10.3bn
- Championship clubs spent £195m on player transfers in the summer 2017 transfer window, a decrease from the £215m spent in 2016
Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Premier League clubs have broken their own record for transfer expenditure for the sixth summer in a row.
“When analysed in the context of generating record broadcast, commercial and matchday revenues, Premier League clubs are spending well within their means.
“While the transfer record for a single player has again been broken by a major European club, the Premier League’s clubs enjoy an unrivalled depth of purchasing power, as a result of the league’s relatively equal – and transparent – distribution of broadcast revenues.”
Deals that didn’t happen
The new records set could have been much higher – by more than £200m – had some of the window’s highest-profile proposed transfers materialised.
- Arsenal’s Sanchez had looked close to a move to Premier League rivals Manchester City, for an initial £55m. That deal was dependant on Monaco’s Lemar joining the Gunners as his replacement. The clubs had agreed a fee of about £90m, which would have made him the third most expensive player ever, but the France forward is thought to have turned down that move – which in turn saw the Sanchez deal collapse.
- Everton midfielder Barkley, who is currently injured, turned down a £30m move to Chelsea – after reportedly having his medical – despite the fact he has one year left on his Toffees deal, and he will not sign a new contract.
- Southampton defender van Dijk has been training with the club’s youth team since trying to push through a move to Liverpool in the summer. The transfer never materialised, so he will have to stay at St Mary’s until January at least.
- Chelsea striker Costa is thought to be in his native Brazil after being told he was not in boss Antonio Conte’s plans. Unless his situation changes, he will not be playing any football for four months at least.
- Leicester winger Mahrez was allowed to stay behind by Algeria to “formalise” a move, but it does not appear that anyone actually made a bid to sign him, with Roma not following up interest from earlier in the window.
- Manchester City ended their interest in West Brom defender Evans after they could not sell Eliaquim Mangala to Crystal Palace.
Deadline-day transfers you may have missed
England Under-17 forward Jadon Sancho joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City for about £10m, and he was instantly handed Ousmane Dembele’s old number seven shirt.
Another England youth international moved to Germany, with Liverpool loaning Ryan Kent to Freiburg. The Reds also loaned Divock Origi to Wolfsburg.
Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham broke their club record to sign Brentford winger Jota for a fee in excess of £6m.
Lazio signed former Manchester United winger Nani from Valencia on a season-long loan.
Stoke City sent club record signing Giannelli Imbula (Toulouse) and forward Bojan Krkic (Alaves) out on loan for the season.
Arsenal sent forward Lucas Perez to Deportivo La Coruna on loan, a year after paying the same club £17.1m to sign him.
English midfielder Ravel Morrison left Lazio to join Mexican side Atlas.
How to announce a transfer – 2017 style
This was the year transfer announcements became ever more creative.
Most clubs no longer tweet a simple picture of their new signing with a link to a story on the club website.
Staged ‘kidnap’ videos, pretend WhatsApp conversations and computer games are among the dozens of ways players have been unveiled.
What do the experts think of deadline day 2017?
Former England midfielder Trevor Sinclair: “One of the biggest surprises for me was the lack of planning at Arsenal. They were not able to react to Manchester City’s interest in Alexis Sanchez. The rush for Thomas Lemar – after Wenger had said any deal for him was dead – was just too late.”
Ex-Republic of Ireland winger Kevin Kilbane: “If you just look at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move to Liverpool, for £40m, that’s a transfer that four years ago would have been about £5m-£10m, given that he is a player in the final year of his contract.”
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