English clubs spent 69 per cent more on international transfers in the January 2020 window than the corresponding period the previous year.
That was despite the number of such deals falling from 156 to 143, an analysis of last month’s transfer activity by world governing body FIFA has found.
The total spent by English clubs on international deals in January was 298.2 million US dollars (just under £230m), up from 176.5m US dollars in 2019. The 2020 figure was still well short of January 2018 though, when English clubs’ spending on international transfers topped half a billion US dollars.
The biggest incoming deal in England was Manchester United’s signing of Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting, for a fee which could reportedly rise to £68m.
Tottenham reportedly spent over £50m combined to bring in Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis and Steven Bergwijn from PSV Eindhoven respectively, while Belgian side Genk were reported to have made a total of £32m from the sale of Mbwana Samatta to Aston Villa and Sander Berge to Sheffield United.
Clubs in Europe’s ‘big five’ associations – England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – accounted for almost three quarters (71.8 per cent) of all spending during the January transfer window, the analysis found.
FIFA’s analysis found that a registration period was open at some point in January in 170 of its 211 member associations, which it said was a new record.
The report, based on data from FIFA’s transfer matching system, showed that 564.2m US dollars (£434.5m) was generated from the transfer of players from other associations to the ‘big five’ while international moves within the ‘big five’ associations generated a further 260.4m US dollars (£200.5m).
There were 149 deals involving clubs in the big five associations featuring a fee, and the study found that the 10 biggest deals of the January window accounted for 44 per cent of all spending by the big five associations.
Total spending by clubs in the big five countries in January 2020 was up compared to the same month in 2019 – 824.6m US dollars compared to 646m, but lower than the January 2018 figure of 1.018 billion.