PREMIER League clubs have already spent close to US$1.5 billion during this transfer window – and the rate of spending shows no sign of abating as Thursday’s deadline looms.
With three days of business remaining in England, some blockbuster deals could still be made – with Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all likely to be involved.
While Neymar’s move from Barcelona to Paris St Germain for US$256 million has been the standout individual transfer of the European summer, the volume of collective spending across the Premier League has been unprecedented.
Four clubs – Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Everton – have already spent more than £100 million (US$129 million) each this summer.
Romelu Lukaku’s move from Everton to Manchester United is the biggest Premier League move of the summer so far, with Alvaro Morata (to Chelsea), Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker (Manchester City) and Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) making up the top five.
The top 10 deals are completed by Bernando Silva’s switch to Manchester City, Everton’s move for Gylfi Sigurdsson, Manchester United’s signing of Nemanja Matic, Liverpool’s swoop for Mohamed Salah and Tiemoue Bakayoko’s switch to Chelsea.
But some of those deals could be edged out of the top 10 by Thursday, as clubs look to spend their increased television money to either enhance their prospects of winning the title, qualifying for Europe or simply staying in the Premier League.
Manchester City have been linked with a move for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez that would involve sending Raheem Sterling to the Emirates Stadium, while Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain appears bound for either Chelsea or Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side, fresh from a 4-0 win over Arsenal at the weekend, are understood to be eager to prise Frenchman Thomas Lemar away from Monaco, having secured the signing of long-term target Naby Keita from Red Bull Leipzig for next season.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 29, 2017
The future of Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk – who has attracted interest from Liverpool and Chelsea – is also likely to be decided, while Jonny Evans, Mamadou Sakho, Fernando Llorente an Danny Drinkwater are among those who could move from one Premier League to another.
The buzz of the final few days of the transfer window has surpassed the excitement of the matches themselves for some fans, who will be glued to the television or internet on Thursday as they discover whether their club has pulled off a last-minute deal or missed out on a top target.
Fans are also eagerly waiting to see whether their clubs will sell their stars, with Liverpool supporters hanging for news regarding Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian playmaker has been the subject of several failed bids from Barcelona this summer – and it is unlikely the window will pass without further drama involving the 25-year-old.
The destinations of certain players may remain unclear, even at this late stage of the window.
But one thing is certain – there will be plenty more drama over the next few days as clubs look to strengthen their squads and cash in on assets they feel are disposable.