Dominik Szoboszlai, Moises Caicedo and Declan Rice were among those to move clubs during the summer transfer window
Another record-breaking transfer window closed on Friday after a busy summer in which Premier League clubs spent £2.36bn on new players.
The combined outlay of the 20 clubs during the window smashes the previous spending record of £1.92bn set last summer by £440m, according to financial services firm Deloitte.
Premier League clubs spent £255m on deadline day alone, which is more than double the £120m spent on the final day of last summer’s window.
That means the 2023-24 season already has the second-highest transfer spend ever after last season’s £2.73bn – with the January window still to come.
Other records include:
Premier League transfers accounted for 48% of total spending across the 'big five' European leagues - La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 Premier League clubs received £550m in transfer fees from overseas clubs, more than double the previous record of £210m in the summer of 2022 With the exception of Spain's La Liga, gross transfer spend increased in all of Europe's 'big five' leagues Only two of Europe's 'big five' leagues spent more on transfers than they received - the Premier League and Ligue 1 There were 13 Premier League transfers valued at £50m-plus, which is more than the previous two summer transfer windows combined.
Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “A second successive summer of record spending by Premier League clubs suggests that year-on-year revenue growth could return following the pandemic.
“Nearly three-quarters of Premier League clubs (14) spent more this summer than the last, reflecting the increased intensity of competition.
“There continues to be pressure on clubs to acquire top talent to satisfy their on-pitch objectives, whether that’s qualifying for European competition or simply maintaining their position in the Premier League.”
All the deadline-day deals in one place Six questions to emerge from record transfer window
What deals were done on deadline day?
Matheus Nunes, Brennan Johnson, Ansu Fati and Ryan Gravenberch
Matheus Nunes, Brennan Johnson, Ansu Fati and Ryan Gravenberch made moves on deadline day
In the biggest Premier League deal of deadline day, Manchester City signed Portugal midfielder Matheus Nunes from Wolves for £55m, while the Treble winners sold Cole Palmer to Chelsea for £40m.
Manchester United brought in goalkeeper Altay Bayindir from Fenerbahce for £4.5m, midfielder Sofyan Amrabat on loan from Fiorentina, full back Sergio Reguilon on loan from Tottenham and free agent Jonny Evans on a one-year deal.
Nottingham Forest were the busiest club, signing seven players including midfielder Ibrahim Sangare from PSV, winger Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea and midfielder Nicolas Dominguez from Bologna.
Other notable deadline day deals included:
Ryan Gravenberch from Bayern Munich to Liverpool for £34.3m Ansu Fati from Barcelona to Brighton on loan Brennan Johnson from Nottingham Forest to Tottenham for £45m Alex Iwobi from Everton to Fulham for £22m Clement Lenglet from Barcelona to Aston Villa on loan Albert Sambi Lokonga from Arsenal to Luton on loan Mason Greenwood from Manchester United to Getafe on loan Rob Holding from Arsenal to Crystal Palace for £4m Luis Sinisterra from Leeds to Bournemouth on loan.
What were the big transfers of the summer?
Rasmus Hoijund, Jeremy Doku and Alexis Mac Allister
There were two transfers that hit the £100m mark this summer. Chelsea signed midfielder Moises Caicedo from Brighton for a £100m fee that could rise to a British club record of £115m, while Arsenal bought England midfielder Declan Rice from West Ham for £100m plus £5m in add-ons.
Along with deadline day signing Nunes, Manchester City bought defender Josko Gvardiol for £77m from RB Leipzig, winger Jeremy Doku from Rennes for £55.4m and midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who arrived for £25m from Chelsea.
Manchester United signed Denmark striker Rasmus Hojlund for £72m, while fellow Champions League side Newcastle United brought in Italy midfielder Sandro Tonali for £55m and Leicester forward Harvey Barnes for £38m.
As well as Rice, last year’s Premier League runners-up Arsenal added Kai Havertz from Chelsea for £65m and Ajax defender Jurrien Timber for £34m.
Liverpool strengthened their midfield with moves for Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig for £60m, Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for £35m and Wataru Endo from Stuttgart for £16.2m.
Best deals from around Europe
Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane
Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane made high profile moves in Europe this summer
Two of the biggest transfers in Europe this summer involved England players.
Three Lions captain Harry Kane joined Bayern Munich from Tottenham for £86.4m, while midfielder Jude Bellingham moved to Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund for £88.5m.
Barcelona signed Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer after the midfielder left Manchester City, before sealing deadline-day loan moves for City defender Joao Cancelo and Spain forward Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid.
The most expensive deal of deadline day was Paris St-Germain’s capture of France striker Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt for £64.2m plus £12.8m in add-ons.
Chelsea top spending league
Romeo Lavia, Cole Palmer and Axel Disasi
Romeo Lavia, Cole Palmer and Axel Disasi were among the players to join Chelsea this summer
This was Chelsea’s third transfer window under new owner Todd Boehly and their spending showed no signs of slowing down.
The London club spent more than £380m on 10 players in this transfer window, more than any other side in Europe. The highest summer spend by any club in the world before now had been Real Madrid’s £292m spree in 2019.
Chelsea’s outlay on players across three transfer windows since Boehly took charge is now close to £1bn.
Their spending this summer has been partially offset by significant player sales, with nine players leaving on permanent deals, including Havertz to Arsenal and Mason Mount to Manchester United for an initial £55m.
How can Chelsea keep spending and stay within financial rules?
Saudi Arabia flexes financial muscle
The Saudi Pro League spent heavily on an array of global stars, including Neymar and Karim Benzema, as the Saudi authorities pushed to make the league one of the most competitive in the world.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund recently took over four of the country’s top teams – Al-Ittihad, Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli – while the other 14 top-flight clubs have some big-name players too.
According to Deloitte, Saudi Pro League clubs have so far spent £690.55m (805m Euros), with £245m of that on Premier League players.
It makes the league the fourth-highest spending in the world this summer, behind the Premier League, Ligue 1 and Serie A.
Saudi Arabia's multi-billion dollar football powerhouse bet Why is Saudi Pro League signing European clubs' stars?
And there could yet be more big-money moves too, with the Saudi transfer window not closing until 7 September – and Al-Ittihad having had a £150m bid for Mohamed Salah rejected by Liverpool.
“The emergence of more active participants in the global transfer market has the potential to accelerate clubs’ efforts to establish financially sustainable business models,” said Calum Ross, assistant director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
“In this summer’s transfer window, clubs who have sold players to those from emerging international leagues have then gone on to spend receipts with a large number of other clubs, both within and outside of the Premier League.
“This distribution of the new flow of funds into the market will be key to ensuring the financial benefits of a more active global market are enjoyed across the board, serving to reduce rather than widen any existing gaps.”
Some of the notable departures from the Premier League for Saudi Arabia include Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez joining Al-Ahli, Wolves captain Ruben Neves moving to Al-Hilal, Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte joining Al-Nassr and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson moving to Al-Ettifaq.
The ones that got away
Despite millions of pounds being spent, there were still some deals that did not materialise.
PSG gave Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal permission to talk to Kylian Mbappe after making a world-record £259m bid, but the striker opted to stay at the French champions – while Al-Ittihad’s £150m offer for Salah was turned down.
Joao Palhinha had agreed terms with Bayern Munich and even flew to Germany to have a medical on deadline day, but Fulham were unable to strike a deal with the Bundesliga champions and the move collapsed.