A wild summer transfer window is coming to an end on Thursday with English Premier League clubs still very active in the market despite already spending more than $2 billion on new players.
Already on deadline day, Brazil Winger Antony has joined Manchester United from Ajax for $95 million to take the club’s own spending in this window to nearly $240 million. Manchester City has bolstered its defensive options by bringing in Switzerland center back Manuel Akanji from Borussia Dortmund for $17.5 million. By the time the window shuts at 11 p.m. local time (2200 GMT), Chelsea and Liverpool are likely to have made last-day purchases to plug gaps in their squads while Nottingham Forest might even make it to a remarkable 20 signings since returning to the league. Chelsea — the biggest spender in Europe this window after an outlay of about $265 million — has been linked with a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joined Barcelona from Arsenal only in February.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp belatedly has made signing a midfielder a priority because of a slew of injuries in that department, most recently to captain Jordan Henderson.
As for Man United, its final signing is set to be goalkeeper Martin Dubravka from Newcastle as a backup to David De Gea. The future of Cristiano Ronaldo has been a hot topic since the end of last season — he has pushed to leave because United isn’t in the Champions League — but manager Erik ten Hag reiterated Wednesday that he is counting on the Portugal forward this season.
The Premier League is back to pre-pandemic levels of spending — and some — on the back of its huge global broadcasting broadcasting deals worth about 10 billion pounds ($11.8 billion) over three seasons. The rest of Europe just cannot compete, with the spending in Spain, Italy, Germany and France dwarfed by that of England.
Chelsea could yet take its spending on players to around $300 million, like it did two summers ago when the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner joined for huge fees.
The Premier League’s record for spending in a single season — covering both summer and winter transfers windows — stands at 1.86 billion pounds ($2.18 billion) in 2017-18. That figure should be comfortably surpassed in this transfer window alone.