Football: English Premier League leads record transfer spree

PARIS (AFP) - The cash-loaded English Premier League led a record-breaking raid for talent by Europe's top clubs before the transfer window slams shut on Wednesday, with Arsenal alone paying more than €60 million (S$91.11 million) for German defender Shkodran Mustafi and Spanish striker Lucas Perez.

More big names were lined up for moves on Wednesday with Liverpool's outcast striker Mario Balotelli having a medical at French club Nice.

England midfielder Jack Wilshere was expected to leave Arsenal on loan.

The Premier League's TV riches have fuelled transfer inflation across the continent, with Inter Milan and Barcelona paying top dollar for Brazil's exciting Olympic gold medal-winning striker Gabriel "Gabigol" Barbosa and Valencia goal-scorer Paco Alcacer respectively.

About €50 million were spent on the pair and most analysts predict European spending will easily be the highest yet when the two-month transfer window closes.

Spending by England's 20-club Premier League alone was expected to bust the £1 billion (S$1.79 billion) barrier after Manchester United set a new world record with the £89 million purchase this month of French midfielder Paul Pogba.