Premier League clubs are having to fork out more money than ever before to land their transfer targets this summer, according to the latest figures.
The window has only been open for 10 days and is yet to feature a high-profile signing to rival Manchester United’s world record purchase of Paul Pogba last year, but the average transfer has cost around £12.4m — over £3m more than at the same stage 12 months ago.
Of the 16 players to have been bought by English top-flight clubs, six have cost more than £10m, including Manchester City’s capture of Bernardo Silva for £43m and United’s £30m deal for Victor Lindelof.
The growth in fees is notably demonstrated in the fees paid by City and Everton on new goalkeepers Ederson and Jordan Pickford, who cost around £34m and £24m respectively.
Before this summer, only 10 goalkeepers in history had ever commanded fees in excess of £10m. Now Ederson and Pickford are the second and third most expensive goalkeepers in history.
The figures lend weight to expectations that Premier League teams will this summer divert their record revenues into spending more than ever before.
The £12.4m average fee spent by Premier League clubs comes from just 16 deals which have cost a total of £198m — meaning around £20m has been spent for each day of the transfer window so far.
One week into last season’s transfer window, Premier League clubs had spent £375m on 41 players at an average fee of £9.2m. A year earlier, it was £236m on 58 players at an average of just £4.1m.
In both years, however, the transfer window officially opened on 1 July, meaning deals agreed in June were counted among the first week’s sum.
Last year £235m worth of transfers were effectively agreed in June, while in 2015 clubs had done £200m worth of deals before the window officially opened in July.
The 2016 summer window, which saw Premier League clubs amass a record spend of £1.2bn according to Deloitte, marked the first time the average fee spent by Premier League clubs ever exceeded £10m.
In 2016 the average transfer fee was £10.3m, £4m more than the average £6.4m and £6.3m spent by England’s top tier clubs in the 2015 and 2014 window.
Yet this summer’s total outlay could grow even higher after clubs revealed record revenues of £3.6bn in the season before last and enjoyed the benefits of the division’s latest £8bn TV deal for the first time.
Last season’s bottom club Sunderland received as much money from the league as 2016 champions Leicester, with £93m in prize money and TV payments. Title winners Chelsea earned a record £151m.