Deadline Day: Premier League spends £215m, but makes profit
A lacklustre January window ends with deals involving Odion Ighalo, Manolo Gabbiadini, Marc Wilson and Robbie Brady
So how was it for you? Did the earth move or was Deadline Day just one big anti-climax? One or two people may have found excitement at the sight of Odion Ighalo leaving Watford for China in a £20m deal, and Napoli's Manolo Gabbiadini joining Southampton will have the south coast club smiling. But overall the first transfer window of 2017 was notable for its lack of thrills.
As usual, Sky Sports worked itself into a lather on the final day of business, but even their whoops of joy rang hollow as they announced Hull's capture of Rennes winger Kamil Grosicki or West Brom signing Marc Wilson on loan from Bournemouth.
According to BBC Sport Premier League clubs "recorded a transfer window profit for the first time, despite spending reaching a six-year January high of £215m". That's an incredible fact given the lack of big name signings and testament to the absurd sums now being paid for players who, a decade ago, wouldn't have fetched more than a million.
Burnley, for example, paid an eye-watering £13m to Norwich for Irish winger Robbie Brady, a player who cost the Canaries just £7m when he joined them 18 months ago from Hull City. Rejected by Manchester United earlier in his career, Brady is a solid professional but not a player who should command a £13m transfer fee.
When the January transfer window was first introduced in 2003 outlay totalled just £35m and this year's figure is second only to the £225m spent six years ago, which included Chelsea's capture of David Luiz and Fernando Torres (for a total of £71.3m) and the £35m Liverpool paid Newcastle for Andy Carroll.
Chelsea again dominated the headlines this year with the £60m they received for Oscar from Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG the biggest transfer fee of the month. Everton spent the most on a single player among the Premier League clubs, paying Manchester United £22m for France midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. The other big departure was Dimitri Payet's move from West Ham to Marseille for £25m.
Intriguingly, none of the top six sides bought new players, although Manchester City did take delivery of Gabriel Jesus after agreeing the deal in the summer. But judging from Tuesday night's results, it may be Arsenal that will live to regret the lack of action in the coming months.
Deadline Day: Liverpool offload Sakho, Man Utd keep Rooney
It may not have been a spectacular month in terms of transfer activity but there have been some major deals since the January transfer window opened, with Man City finalising the £27m purchase of striker Gabriel Jesus, Chelsea banking £60m for China-bound Oscar and West Ham getting shot of Dimitri Payet after he went on strike.
The 20 Premier League clubs had already paid out more than £150m before Deadline Day dawned and the BBC reports that "a final flurry of activity could see the total spend pass the £225m mark of January 2011".
Its football correspondent Phil McNulty writes: "January's transfer window is traditionally less hectic and with less quality on offer than August – but that does not mean Tuesday will be calm rather than chaotic."
But what deals are on the verge of happening?
- Leicester striker Leonardo Ulloa has demanded a move away from champions Leicester and has reportedly gone on strike after a bid of £7m from Sunderland was rejected. "Ulloa was disappointed that his contract, worth £40,000 a week and with 18 months left on it, was not improved last summer in line with some team-mates," reports The Times. He has accused manager Claudio Ranieri of "betraying him", however the Italian refuses to sell him to a Premier League rival and has rejected an improved offer of £8m reports The Guardian.
- Sunderland have also been thwarted in their efforts to sign Jay Rodriguez from Southampton. David Moyes has reportedly offered £12m for the striker, but has had the offer turned down by Claude Puel. Rodriguez could be on the move however, after Saints signed forward Manolo Gabbiadini from Napoli, a player who could push the England star further down the pecking order. West Brom are also said to be interested and have had a £10m bid rejected says the Daily Telegraph.
- There is good news for Liverpool fans in the Daily Mirror, which reports that "defender Mamadou Sakho has been spotted in London as he nears an exit from Anfield". The defender has not played for the Reds since falling out with Jurgen Klopp in the summer. "Spartak Moscow, Galatasaray and Southampton are interested in his services, but it seems Crystal Palace are in the driving seat," says the paper. "Terms are being discussed with Sakho and his representatives, and the deal could become a permanent one."
- Jose Mourinho has ruled out a move for the club's record goalscorer Wayne Rooney and has announced that he will stay with Manchester United for the rest of the season. Asked if Rooney was staying the manager told a press conference: "Yeah. We don't have players in, we don't have players out. We already lost two players from the squad." That means Ashley Young will also remain on United's books.
- Celtic have denied that striker Moussa Dembele is on the verge of signing for Chelsea in a £40m deal, despite widespread reports of interest from the Premier League leaders. The 20-year-old striker was seen on a plane heading to London but his club insist he was on his way south for a knee appointment.
- Former Manchester United trainee Ravel Morrison is set to join QPR on loan from Lazio for the rest of the season, reports the Daily Mail. "The agreement in place with QPR will see Morrison move to west London on loan with an option for a permanent transfer at the end of the season," says the paper. "Morrison has been a target for a number of Championship clubs – but is desperate to play for Ian Holloway." The 23-year-old, who has had a turbulent career, joined Lazio in 2015 but has made only a handful of appearances.
- Relegation-threatened Hull City "have completed their sixth signing of the January transfer window after securing Italy international Andrea Ranocchia on a loan deal from Inter Milan until the end of the season", reports The Independent. The 28-year-old centre-back has 21 international caps for Italy and will cost Hull £1.72m in wages between now and the end of the season.