LONDON • English clubs have spent nearly £23 million (S$49 million) on agent fees this summer, the most of any of the world's biggest five leagues.
The figure is certain to climb before the end of the transfer window and again next year, when a record broadcasting deal is likely to stimulate the market further.
The commissions paid are about 40 times higher than payments made by clubs in France, where about one third of the transfer income derives from England.
Italian clubs committed nearly £15 million on agents, twice the amount of Spanish and German clubs, for the period between June 1 and July 29 this year.
"When it comes to intermediaries' commissions, England is once again the top spender," according to Fifa, which uses figures derived from its transfer-matching system.
The five biggest European leagues also account for about 70 per cent of spending on players in the world.
Unsurprisingly, English clubs have spent more and concluded a greater number of deals than any other country this summer.
China has been the fifth-biggest spender, committing more than £50 million on transfer fees, including the arrival of Demba Ba, the former Chelsea forward, and Paulinho, the Brazil midfielder.
Between June 1 and July 29, there were 188 incoming transfers to England, about 30 more than Germany in second place, representing about £288 million in spending.
"Brazil is the third most active country worldwide with 131 incoming transfers to date while Belgium occupies fourth place," world football's governing body Fifa said.
The early evidence suggests that, in most cases, the big five countries are doing the bulk of their transfers with their immediate neighbours, with whom they often share a common language.
This is the case for England and Scotland, where there were 91 transfers between the countries.
THE TIMES, LONDON