PARIS • English Premier League leaders Manchester City have the most expensive playing squad in history, according to a report published on Monday by the Swiss-based research group CIES Football Observatory.
The research values Pep Guardiola's squad at €878 million (S$1.43 billion), with Paris Saint-Germain second on €805 million, after a January transfer window in which City acquired centre-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for €65 million.
The Sheikh Mansour-owned club spent big last summer, with Kyle Walker, Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy arriving for a combined €227.3 million.
Neymar's world-record €222 million signing from Barcelona accounts for more than a quarter of the PSG total but Kylian Mbappe is only on loan, despite an anticipated fee of up to €180 million to be paid to Monaco at the end of the season.
That leaves Guardiola managing the costliest-ever collection of talent for now.
"When you want to compete at the highest level, you need to spend," the Spaniard said last month. "Some clubs spend £300, £400 million on two players. We spend it on six players."
Only two other teams have spent more than €700 million building their squads - Manchester United (€747 million) and Spanish LaLiga leaders Barcelona (€725 million).
The rest of the top ten is made up of Real Madrid (€497 million) in sixth, Juventus (€448 million) in eighth and four Premier League teams - Chelsea (€592 million), Liverpool (€461 million), Arsenal (€403 million) and Everton (€365 million).
The researchers calculated that the average Premier League squad cost "a record high" of €291 million, more than double a LaLiga team's average of €131 million.