The Premier League is heading for its lowest January spend since 2012, barring an unexpected transfer deadline day flurry of activity.
Heading into the final hours of the transfer window, English top-flight clubs had forked out around £78m.
Unless they spend more than £40m before tonight’s 11pm deadline, it will represent their lowest outlay for nine years.
At the time of writing, 16 of the 20 Premier League signings had not bought a senior player in January.
The two biggest deals completed in this window – Manchester United’s £37m purchase of Amad Diallo from Atalanta and West Ham’s signing of Said Benrahma from Brentford – were effectively agreed last summer.
Aston Villa’s £14m deal for midfielder Morgan Sanson from Marseille is the only major transfer.
Champions Liverpool are expected to sign Preston defender Ben Davies for around £2m on transfer deadline day, but a series of other late moves in the final hours of the window looks unlikely.
Why is transfer deadline day so quiet this year?
Football clubs have been badly affected by Covid-19, which has caused games to to be delayed, cancelled or played in empty stadia.
The 20 highest-earning clubs in the world alone will have lost €2bn in revenue by the end of this season, according to Deloitte.
Deals this month are subject to new immigration criteria as a result of Brexit. The effects are expected to be more pronounced in the summer, when transfer activity increases.
“I’m sure by the summer transfer window we’ll start to see the full impact,” Sam Boor, senior manager in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, told City A.M. last week.
“Clearly, this is an odd transfer window. There’s been a low volume of deals given the financial pressures on clubs right now.”