For the sixth consecutive year, Premier League clubs broke the bank to bring in new signings.
According to accounting powerhouse Deloitte, Premier League clubs spent a record of around $1.81 billion in transfer fees, including $271.85 on deadline day alone. Amazingly, this total could have been higher had deals for Tomas Lemar, Alexis Sanchez and Ross Barkley gone through among others.
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The summer transfer window’s total is nearly $1.3 billion more than was spent five years ago, but it’s in line with the increased revenues for clubs across the Premier League thanks to new television deals around the world. According to Deloitte, most clubs spend one-third to one-fifth of their revenues on transfer fees and this summer it was around 31 percent of revenues were spent on transfers.
Manchester City led the Premier League with $278.3 million spent on transfers this summer. Man City, Chelsea, Man United, Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool combined to spend approximately $1.109 billion in the transfer market. Arsenal, Stoke City, Burnley and Swansea City all finished in the black.
“When analyzed in the context of generating record broadcast, commercial and matchday revenues, Premier League clubs are spending well within their means,” Deloitte’s Dan Jones told the BBC. “While the transfer record for a single player has again been broken by a major European club, the Premier League’s clubs enjoy an unrivaled depth of purchasing power, as a result of the league’s relatively equal – and transparent – distribution of broadcast revenues.”
DeAndre Yedlin needed just a short time in England to complete a somewhat dubious feat: those to play for both Northeast rivals Sunderland and Newcastle United.
Yedlin, who turned 23 last month, is reportedly off to St. James Park on what could be more than a loan deal. The Shields Gazette’s Miles Starforth said it’s “likely” his transfer from Tottenham Hotspur would be a permanent move.
[ MORE: U.S. teen headed to La Liga ]
Oddly enough, it was a Yedlin cross that sealed Newcastle’s fate as relegated to the Championship last Spring.
The 39-times-capped USMNT defender made 25 appearances for the Black Cats, and was very effective in the stretch run. He signed a four-year deal with Spurs, joining the club in Jan. 2015.
Yedlin had been linked with Trabzonspor, Derby County, Hull City, and Aston Villa. The latter signed Ritchie De Laet.
Newcastle put heat under the rumor by sending promising defender Kevin Mbabu on loan to Young Boys in Switzerland.
Seattle Sounders owner/general manager Adrian Hanauer, head coach Sigi Schmid and sporting director Chris Henderson spoke Thursday during the club’s end-of-season press conference, with the minority stakeholder making one important announcement and a forecast with significant ramifications for clubs on both sides of the Atlantic.
Right of the top, Hanauer announced that Schmid, who this year became the first head coach in MLS history to reach the 200-win milestone, has signed a multi-year contract extension that will “keep him around for the foreseeable future.”
Schmid and the Sounders enjoyed their most successful season in the club’s six-year MLS history, lifting the US Open Cup (the Sounders’ fourth under Schmid) and Supporters Shield before falling one round short of Sunday’s MLS Cup final (3 pm ET) and a chance to play for the domestic treble, an accomplishment still unrealized in MLS.
The second bit of news to come from Thursday’s media engagement is Hanauer’s belief that Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin is “highly, highly likely” to receive his Latvian passport before the end of the year and complete his transfer to Tottenham Hotspur during the January transfer window.
Yedlin, who signed a four-year deal with Tottenham in August following a standout performance at the 2014 World Cup, applied for a Latvian passport — his grandmother is Latvian — earlier this year in order to bypass the UK work permit process that would have given him significant trouble and delays in completing his move.
After a hiccup in the negotiations in early August, Steaua Bucharest center back and Romanian international Vlad Chiricheș could still be on his way to the Premier League. Tottenham Hotspur was on the brink of closing the deal when Steaua owner Gigi Becali canceled it.
The kicker: Becali was in jail when he made the call, serving a three-year sentence for shady business involving land exchanges. He used his one allowed phone call per day to call general manager Mihai Stoica and kill Chiricheș’s transfer.
(MORE: Vlad Chiricheș: Eastern Europe’s next big export?)
Chiricheș’s agent is Victor Becali, Gigi’s brother. He told DigiSport last week that the player was set to sign for “over €1 million a year, plus a house and a car, for five years. If he came on well, his salary would have increased after the first year.”
The €8 million transfer fee on the table would have made Chiricheș the most expensive Romanian to leave Liga 1 to date. AS Roma also put in a bid for the 23-year-old defender with 19 caps to his name.
Steaua’s rationale for keeping Chiricheș was that he was vital to the club’s UEFA Champions League qualification campaign. However, he mysteriously withdrew from the squad just before Wednesday’s 1-1 tie with Legia Warsaw, sparking rumors that the move was back on.
“I tried to get over it as quickly as possible,” Chiricheș said in a prematch press conference on Tuesday about his failed transfer. “I really don’t think it looked in the games afterward like I was affected.”
Official word was that he picked up a knock in training the day before the match against Legia, perhaps aggravating a hip injury that already existed. Romanian scout and reliable transfer market bellwether Radu Baicu had a cryptic update on Chiricheș’s situation Thursday:
To be fair, Baicu doesn’t say where Chiricheș will go. But for now, it seems Tottenham’s bid to strengthen its back line could be close to completion.
New Chelsea manager José Mourinho’s quest to reunite with Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuaín has hit a bit of a snag. The Premier League club has put in an offer, but Madrid won’t let him leave for less than €40 million.
Higuaín said early last month that he would leave the club after falling out of favor and even being booed by his own fans during the second leg of Madrid’s 4-3 aggregate loss to Borussia Dortmund in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League.
Madrid is in a position of power on any potential deal, as Higuaín clearly wants to leave — and plenty of clubs would be happy to have him. The club likely sees this as an opportunity to recoup some of the cash it spent to sign Isco from Málaga (about €30 million) and Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad (about €38 million).
Of course, new Real manager Carlo Ancelotti could want to keep him. A high price tag ensures that it looks like the boss values Higuaín, but it also allows the club to sell if it gets the right offer. Every player has a price, especially after a club has spent so much in a transfer window already.
For its part, Chelsea likely has some money left in its seemingly bottomless transfer fund, having bought just André Schürrle from Bayer Leverkusen, in terms of big-name signings. But with Schürrle, Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and a newly inspired Romelu Lukaku all occupying the same position, it could get crowded for Higuaín at Chelsea as well.
[ Further reading: As far as transfer rumors go, Gonzalo Higuaín to Arsenal actually makes some sense ]
At just 25 years old, the Argentine should have plenty of top-flight goals left in him. He scored 107 in 187 appearances for Real Madrid since 2007, after transferring from River Plate in his home country. He also has 20 goals in 32 matches for the Argentine national team.