Premier League transfer spending could drop for the second summer in a row – unless there are some big signings on Thursday’s transfer deadline day.
English top-flight clubs have spent just over £1bn this summer, short of last year’s £1.2bn and 2017’s £1.4bn.
The deadline for Championship clubs is also Thursday, but teams from Leagues One and Two, Scotland and across Europe can buy players until 2 September.
Ten Premier League clubs have broken their transfer records this summer.
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What transfers could happen on deadline day?
Tottenham are being strongly linked to Juventus forward Paulo Dybala and Real Betis midfielder Giovani lo Celso – with their playmaker Christian Eriksen keen on a move abroad. They ended their interest in a loan move for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho on Wednesday.
Manchester United had been interested in both Dybala and Eriksen but could now make no deadline-day signings.
English clubs can still sell players after the deadline – with Romelu Lukaku likely to leave United for either Inter Milan or Juventus.
Likewise, Eriksen could leave Spurs any time until 2 September. But with Premier League clubs unable to sign replacements after Thursday, a Paul Pogba exit from United seems less plausible.
Arsenal could do with a defender after letting captain Laurent Koscielny go to Bordeaux – with RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano a rumoured target.
Title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool appear happy with their squads – with no deadline-day activity expected.
Chelsea, who sold Eden Hazard to Real Madrid for up to £150m, are unable to sign anybody – bar Mateo Kovacic, who had been on loan – because of a transfer ban.
Everton could be busy on deadline day. They are expected to improve on their £30m bid for Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi, while they also want Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha.
Who have been the big movers this summer?
Half of the 20 Premier League clubs have broken their transfer record this summer, with Sheffield United smashing theirs four times. Arsenal, Aston Villa, Leicester (twice), Manchester City, Newcastle, Southampton, Tottenham, West Ham and Wolves are the other nine.
Harry Maguire’s £80m switch from Leicester to Manchester United has been the biggest Premier League signing of the summer so far.
Arsenal spent £72m to sign Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, champions Manchester City bought Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri for £62.8m and Spurs spent £53.8m on Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele – Spurs’ first first-team signing since January 2018.
Villa have spent more than £100m, the second promoted club to hit that figure after Fulham, who did so during the summer of 2018, only to be relegated in April 2019.
The other biggest transfers have been Manchester United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£50m from Crystal Palace), West Ham striker Sebastien Haller (£45m from Eintracht Frankfurt), Newcastle striker Joelinton (£40m from Hoffenheim) and Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans (reported £40m from Monaco).
Chelsea also spent £40m on Real Madrid midfielder Kovacic despite having the transfer embargo. He was already there on loan, so they have been allowed to sign him permanently as he was registered.
Premier League spending could fall behind
On 1 August, Premier League spending was £922m, with La Liga’s 20 clubs spending a combined £1.06bn this summer.
Real Madrid have spent about £280m this summer – rising by another £61m if clauses are met in the signing of Hazard from Chelsea.
Atletico Madrid have splashed out over £220m in a big squad rebuild – recouping £280m in sales. They signed Benfica forward Joao Felix for £113m, the fifth most-expensive transfer of all time, to replace Antoine Griezmann, who became the sixth most costly footballer when Barcelona paid £107m for him.
English top-flight clubs have since overtaken that La Liga figure – but Spanish clubs have another three-and-a-half weeks to beat their total for the first time in over a decade.