Premier League clubs eye all-time transfer record despite cost of living crisis

Premier League clubs eye all-time transfer record despite cost of living crisis


Premier League clubs eye all-time transfer record despite cost of living crisis

LONDON (AFP) - The cost of living crisis in England has passed Premier League clubs by with the all-time record for an entire season, 1.86 billion ($2.15 billion) from 2017-18, under threat of being broken come the closing of the transfer window later on Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo s 37-year-old legs and sky-high wages have deterred Europe s aristocracy from signing him from Manchester United and granting his wish for Champions League football.

However, in contrast United and their domestic rivals have found no outlandish fee or wage demands beyond them.

As of last Thursday, gross spending by the 20 Premier League teams stood at 1.5 billion, surpassing the 2017 record of 1.43 billion spent by English clubs in the close-season window.

It was also more than the 1.44 billion spent in the whole of last season.

United helped reduce the gap further early on Thursday as their manager Erik ten Hag returned to his former club Ajax to sign Brazilian winger Antony.

The 22-year-old was prised away for a reported 82 million, making Antony the fourth most expensive player in Premier League history.

"This is an incredible moment in my career to be joining one of the most iconic clubs in the world," Antony said.

Antony is likely to be United s last big money signing of a busy window that saw Casemiro signed for 60 million from Real Madrid and Lisandro Martinez recruited from Ajax for 56 million.

Ten Hag did seal another less expensive deal on Thursday as Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka arrived at Old Trafford on a season-long loan.

The 33-year-old is reported to have cost a 2 million loan fee and will serve as back-up to first choice keeper David de Gea.


-  Best for the club  -

Manchester City strengthened their injury-hit defence by signing Swiss international Manuel Akanji on a five-year deal from Borussia Dortmund.

Akanji will provide the Premier League champions with extra defensive depth after recent injuries to centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake.

"I am delighted to be here, and can t wait to get started," said Akanji, who cost City a reported 17 million.

"City have been one of the best teams in Europe over the last few seasons. Coming here feels like the perfect next step in my career."

Akanji is City s second swoop on Dortmund this summer after their 50 million deal for Norway striker Erling Haaland.

City and United s spending still pales into insignificance compared to that of Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel has splashed out around 250 million as Chelsea s new American owners look to make a statement in their first window.

Having finally landed Leicester defender Wesley Fofana for a reported 70 million on Wednesday, Tuchel is still keen to sign Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona.

The 33-year-old would cost around 7.5 million with Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso also part of the package.

This despite Aubameyang being sidelined for several weeks after having his jaw broken in a break-in at his house earlier this week.

Leicester moved quickly to replace Fofana by signing Wout Faes from Ligue 1 side Reims, their first major acquisition of the summer.

The 24-year-old Belgian international signed a five-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Fulham signed Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa on a season-long loan, and also brought Willian back to the Premier League after the Brazilian winger left Corinthians in August.

Willian, formerly of Chelsea and Arsenal, agreed a one-year contract, saying: "I m happy to be back in the Premier League. Fulham is a club that wants to improve, that wants to fight for something bigger."

Senegal midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye returned to Everton from PSG for a nominal fee on a two-year contract.

The 32-year-old played for Everton from 2016 to 2019 before moving to PSG.

"There is no better feeling than coming back home. I am very happy to be here at Everton again, to help and to work hard. I ll give my soul to this team," Gueye said.

"For me, it s special. I told PSG if I am going to leave it will be for one team - and that was Everton."