Transfer deadline day: Premier League January spending fell for the first time since 2012 with a quiet deadline day capping off a relatively low-spending window.
Deadline-day and January spending were less than half of last year’s totals, with 12 deals on 31 January totalling £50m – bringing the month’s spending to £180m, according to figures from the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.
January 2018 saw £430m spent by Premier League clubs, with £150m on deadline day alone.
The biggest deal on transfer deadline saw Newcastle break their record to sign £20m Paraguayan playmaker Miguel Almiron from MLS side Atlanta United – as well as signing Monaco defender Antonio Barreca on loan.
Wolves signed Atletico Madrid full-back Jonny Castro Otto for £15m after a successful loan spell. The next highest fee was £7m as Ante Palaversa moved to Manchester City but immediately returned to Hadjuk Split on loan.
Leicester signed Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans on loan – sending Adrien Silva the other way. Fulham confirmed the signing of Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic on a short-term deal 90 minutes after the deadline passed, having signed Hoffenheim midfielder Havard Nordtveit on loan earlier in the day.
Crystal Palace signed Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi on loan, revealing the news after midnight.
Peter Crouch will have the chance to add to his 108 Premier League goals after joining Burnley from Stoke, with Sam Vokes going the other way. Cardiff spent £4m on Reading midfielder Leandro Bacuna.
The only other Premier League signings saw Brighton recruit two youngsters and send them back to their clubs on loan.
League One Sunderland have agreed a £4m deal with Wigan for striker Will Grigg – a move which would be in the country’s 10 most expensive signings of the window if it is confirmed on 1 February.
English youngsters Reece Oxford (West Ham to Augsburg) and Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal to RB Leipzig) completed loan moves to the Bundesliga.
Scottish champions Celtic signed Borussia Dortmund right-back Jeremy Toljan on loan – as well as Ukrainian winger Maryan Shved and American defenders Manny Perez and Andrew Gutman but have loaned the three youngsters back out.
*Emiliano Sala joined Cardiff from Nantes for £15m but was on board a light aircraft that disappeared over the Channel Islands on 21 January.
Tottenham will go the entire 2018-19 season without signing anyone after making no signings in January, having also failed to recruit in the summer. Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton and Southampton also did not bring anyone new in during January.
Watford signed one player for their under-23s all month, while Brighton brought in three players – but loaned them all out to their previous clubs. Manchester City’s only signing – Palaversa – also immediately left on loan.
Burnley and Leicester made their only signings of the month on deadline day.
Why has spending dropped?
Deloitte say the reduction is because:
- reduced activity from the ‘big six’ clubs
- a perceived lack of value in the transfer market
- the strongest ever financial position of Premier League clubs, reducing the need to sell their best talent in order to ensure financial stability
- the global value of Premier League broadcast rights, with the 2019-20 – 2021-22 cycle being only slightly higher than the previous cycle, thereby reducing clubs’ desire to spend significantly in the transfer market
The deals which did not go through
Arsenal failed with bids to sign Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic, Dalian Yifang wide man Yannick Carrasco and Paris St-Germain midfielder Christopher Nkunku.
Real Betis and Schalke expressed interest in signing Tottenham striker Vincent Janssen but neither move materialised.
Everton rejected an offer of £26.2m from Paris St-Germain for midfielder Idrissa Gueye in the closing stages of the transfer window.
Leeds’ prospective loan deal for Swansea winger Daniel James – which could have become permanent for £8.5m – fell through at the last moment.
Former England internationals Danny Drinkwater and Gary Cahill, who reportedly turned down Juventus, Monaco and Fulham, stayed at Chelsea despite limited prospects of getting in the team.
England Under-17 World Cup winner Callum Hudson-Odoi also remained at Stamford Bridge despite putting in a transfer request and being the subject of a £35m bid from Bayern Munich.
West Ham’s proposed £45m signing of Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez never happened, while Che Adams stayed at Birmingham despite reported interest from Burnley and Southampton.
When did the transfer window close?
In England the deadline was at 23:00 GMT on Thursday – although clubs were allowed to complete deals later so long as they completed a deal sheet in time – and in Scotland it was midnight.
Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands also had 31 January deadlines. Portugal (2 February), Russia (22 February) and China (28 February) are among nations who can still sign players.
Biggest deals of the window
Chelsea completed the biggest signing with the acquisition of winger Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for £58m, but they loaned the USA international back to the Bundesliga leaders until the end of the season.
The Blues also brought in Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus for the remainder of the campaign – with the option to buy for 36m euros (£31.4m) this summer.
Bournemouth were one of the busiest clubs, completing three deals. Striker Dominic Solanke came in from Liverpool for £19m, as did right-back Nathaniel Clyne on loan, while Wales defender Chris Mepham joined from Championship side Brentford for £12m.
Fulham also signed three, Besiktas winger Babel and their two deadline-day signings.