Football: Over $6 billion spent in transfer window

Paris Saint-Germain’s world-record signing of Neymar (above) from Barcelona dominated headlines.
Paris Saint-Germain’s world-record signing of Neymar (above) from Barcelona dominated headlines.PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - The close-season transfer window saw US$4.71 billion (S$6.3 billion) spent worldwide, over three quarters of which were from the top five European leagues, Fifa announced on Thursday.

Paris Saint-Germain's world-record signing of Neymar from Barcelona for €222 million (S$355 million) dominated the headlines, but many of Europe's other big clubs also broke their own transfer records.

"Between June 1 and Sept 1, 7,590 international transfers were completed worldwide," Fifa said in a statement.

"Global spending reached US$4.71 billion, meaning clubs spent almost as much during those three months as they had in the whole of 2016 (US$4.79 billion)."

PSG also signed teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe from Monaco on a season-long loan, with an option to make him the second-most expensive player of all-time for €180 million.

Largely down to PSG, France saw the biggest increase in international transfer spending, with its clubs spending US$604.1 million, an increase of 250 per cent on last summer.

Five-time European champions Bayern Munich and Barcelona also broke their club records for Corentin Tolisso and Ousmane Dembele respectively.

Fifa's report found that clubs in Europe's top five leagues spent US$3.67 billion, a new transfer-window record.

"Once again, clubs from the Big 5 (England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy) took centre stage, completing 21.2 per cent of the total incoming transfers and spending 77.9 per cent of the total global spend," football's world governing body added.

England saw the most money spent on players, with a total amount of US$1.4 billion more than double that of any other country.

The chaotic nature of the transfer window has seen calls for reforms, with English Premier League clubs voting to end their window before the start of the 2017-18 season.