In Depth

Deadline Day: £1bn spent, but loans highlight the profligacy

Premier League clubs are throwing their money around, but their financial supremacy won't last without an element of prudence

As the dust settles on a frantic Deadline Day, which took Premier League spending to a record £1.17bn, the full effect of the new £5.1bn Premier League TV deal is evident.

Last summer, Premier League clubs spent £870m during the summer window, but this year the figure was a third higher and, as the BBC notes, "it dwarfed the £215m spent during the first window in the 2003-04 campaign".

Deals worth £155m were concluded on the final day of the transfer window alone – a new record. The figure was boosted by Spurs, who forked out £30m for Moussa Sissoko, while Chelsea paid £34m to buy back David Luiz from Paris Saint Germain. Leicester City also joined in, spending more than £27m on winger Islam Slimani.

On average, Premier League clubs spent £60m during the transfer window, says the BBC, and 13 of the 20 top flight teams broke their transfer record, while Manchester United set a new global standard, paying £89m for Paul Pogba, a former Old Trafford trainee.

But the orgy of spending has not impressed everyone. Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph is struck by the number of players being jettisoned by clubs. 

"Over £1bn changed hands as the Premier League clubs enjoyed a final spending spree with their TV lottery win, and yet it was the 'freebies' on offer that are most revealing of English football's excess," he says. 

While the focus was on big money signings, players who cost millions just a few months ago were being farmed out to other clubs for free. "Between them, Mario Balotelli, Oumar Niasse, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala cost just short of £90m," notes Bascombe. "Little or nothing was expected back as exit negotiations progressed on Wednesday.

"Deadline Day is now presented as a momentous end to a summer festival, but as with all parties, the clean-up operation can be just as expensive."

Part of the problem is that English clubs are now so wealthy they are operating in isolation, says Amy Lawrence of The Guardian.

"The Premier League, right now, is left resembling a footballing Brexit of sorts – the English clubs want to do business with clubs abroad but also have created their own market with its own overblown values. 

"The subplot of the great Premier League talent chase concerns the problems that stem from buying expensively and adding a high-end salary, given the nature of transfers is that some just do not work out. What to do with the pricey mistakes, the no-longer-wanteds? The trouble with living in a separate market to the rest of Europe is that these problems are almost impossible to sell on for someone else to untangle."

It is that problem that has fuelled the popularity of the long-term loan and it could become the conduit that allows the excess money sloshing around in the Premier League to find its way into other divisions, as the economic playing field begins to level itself.

The case of Juan Cuadrado is instructive. Chelsea paid Fiorentina £23.3m for the player in the winter of 2015, but he spent last season with Juventus and is now back there on a three-year-loan. Chelsea have effectively enriched Italian football twice over, paying cash to Fiorentina and providing Juventus with the talent.

Deadline Day deals: Chelsea sign David Luiz, Wilshere to Bournemouth, Spurs land Sissoko

31 August

Premier League clubs have smashed all previous records and spent more than £1bn in the summer transfer window, reports the BBC. But with Deadline Day in full swing, there are certain to be a few more deals going through before the close of business at 11pm tonight.

And, with Joe Hart confirmed as a Torino player and Arsenal fans still trying to figure out whether Lucas Perez was a bargain at £17m, here are some of the biggest rumours and done deals from deadline day 2016.

  • Spurs left it late to pull off the signing of Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle with just minutes to spare before the 11pm transfer deadline, and ended up poaching the French international from Everton. Tottenham had been persuing the midfielder all summer but had refused to meet his £30m valuation. However, Mauricio Pochettino finally relented after Everton moved in. With the Toffees confident that they had landed Sissoko Spurs, who were able to offer Champions League football, made a rival offer and secured his signature.
  • Samir Nasri has finalised his season-long loan from Man City to Sevilla. The France international made 12 Premier League appearances for City last season and appears to be surplus to requirements under Pep Guardiola. He passed his medical with the Spanish club on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Bournemouth have won the race to sign Arsenal outcast Jack Wilshere, who was spotted at the South Coast club on Deadline Day. The midfielder, who wants to quit the Gunners to get his career back on track and regain his place in the England squad, was also courted by Crystal Palace and Roma in Italy.
  • Leicester are expected to confirm the signings of Sporting Lisbon duo, Islam Slimani and Adrien Silva  for a fee in excess of £50m. The deal appeared to be in doubt yesterday but has been rekindled after Silva made it clear he wanted to join Leicester and the Foxes upped their offer for Slimani. Sky Sports says Slimani has left the Algerian training camp and will have his medical in Bologna.
  • Sunderland boss David Moyes has continued his summer spree with a Deadline Day move for Gabon international midfielder Didier Ndong, who has been signed from French club Lorient for £13.6m - the biggest up-front fee ever paid by the Black Cats, according to the BBC.
  • Mario Balotelli has been spotted in the south of France after flying to Nice to tie up his loan move from Liverpool. The forward, who has endured a nightmare two seasons since signing for Liverpool in 2014 and has not played for them since April 2015, has been having a medical according to some reports. However, not even Sky's famous "sources" were able to confirm if the deal was a permanent one or just another season-long loan. 
  • As TheWeek.co.uk predicted yesterday, the future of Daniel Sturridge is suddenly a Deadline Day talking point, with the Daily Mirror reporting that the odds of the Liverpool star "making a shock deadline day switch to Arsenal have tumbled". The England striker has a "frosty relationship" with Reds manager Jurgen Klopp and with Arsenal still in need of more firepower, despite the arrival of Lucas Perez, Arsene Wenger could "be tempted by a late move".
  • Reports in Italy say Chelsea have offered Cesc Fabregas to AC Milan. The Spanish midfielder has only had 12 minutes of Premier League action so far this season and that has led to speculation he could leave Stamford Bridge. It has been claimed the Italian club were prepared to take him on loan and pay his wages. However, Fabregas has gone on the record to say he wants to prove himself to new manager Antonio Conte.
  • Unwanted Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has turned down a move to Besiktas, refusing to even talk to the Turkish club, says the Daily Mirror. "Liverpool are desperate to shift the defender before the window closes," says the paper. "The international centre half is holding out for a move to France or Italy," it adds, explaining that he has also turned down Stoke and West Ham.
  •  Nottingham Forest are confident of holding onto striker Britt Assombalonga, despite interest from Sunderland, Aston Villa and Norwich. Forest offloaded teenage winger Oliver Burke to Leipzig for £13m earlier this week.

Deadline Day 2016: Nine last-ditch transfers to look out for

30 August

It's been a summer of mammoth spending but with the summer transfer window about to close, there's still plenty of last-minute business to be done for the Premier League big guns.

Out-of-favour Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart is set to sign for Italian club Torino on loan for the season. With that and other big deals expected to go through on the final day of business, there will no doubt be plenty of drama on Sky Sports on Wednesday

Here are some deals to look out for on Deadline Day:

Jack Wilshere leaves Arsenal on loan

If this deal isn't finalised on Tuesday, expect it to happen sometime on Wednesday. It's been claimed that the perennially injured Arsenal midfielder demanded a move after he slipped down the Emirates pecking order and dropped out of the England squad as a result. "Wilshere is wanted by clubs in Italy, Spain and the Premier League after Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger agreed to let him go out on loan to get vital playing experience," reports the Daily Telegraph. Roma, where he could be reunited with fellow Arsenal outcast Wojciech Szczesny, and Juventus appear to be the two favourites.

Daniel Sturridge quits Liverpool

It would come as something of a shock, but it's apparent something is not quite right between Sturridge and his manager, Jurgen Klopp. The pair seem to have been taking subtle swipes at each other while claiming they are perfectly happy with life. Liverpool have refused to entertain bids for forgotten man Danny Ings this summer, reports the Liverpool Echo. Could that be significant? If Ings stays then there would at least be cover if Sturridge were to jump ship.

Leicester splash out

The champions have not made the start they wanted this season and it seems reinforcements are needed if they are to mount a title defence. A £50m raid on Sporting Lisbon for midfielder Adrien Silva and striker Islam Slimani was "in the balance" on Tuesday, according to the Daily Mail. If one or both of the deals go through, then so much the better from a Leicester perspective. If not, there could be some last-ditch scrambling on Deadline Day now it's common knowledge the Foxes have £50m to spend.

Saido Berahino doesn't move

He used to be seen as a future England star, but West Brom's Saido Berahino is better known as a Deadline Day stalwart. With Harry Redknapp retired and Jermain Defoe unlikely to leave Sunderland, it's the future of Berahino, a former Spurs target, that Sky Sports' sources will be debating on Wednesday. The English footballer has been courted by Stoke, but the fact he flew off for a holiday this week suggests he won't be moving – again.

Chelsea land a centre-back

Antonio Conte has been chasing centre-backs all summer, but has so far failed to land one – the Kalidou Koulibaly race ended in defeat, Shkodran Mustafi joined Arsenal and AC Milan turned down £30m for Alessio Romagnoli. With time running out, Conte will adopt a different approach, says the Telegraph. "The Blues are now looking at bringing a central defender in on loan for the rest of the season as cover for captain John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma, when he returns from injury in the next month," it says.

Liverpool get rid of Balotelli

Klopp may have problems with Sturridge, but they are nothing compared to his issues with Mario Balotelli, who has been surplus to requirements at Anfield almost from the moment he arrived. Having been unable to find a permanent buyer, the Reds have spent the summer trying to farm him out on loan again, with little success. But even Super Mario must realise that unless he starts playing again, his career could be over, so expect him to agree a loan deal on Deadline Day. Palermo and Nice are favourites to sign him.

Moussa Sissoko returns to the Premier League

The Newcastle midfielder has so far failed to secure a move away from the Championship side despite some impressive performances for France at Euro 2016. The main stumbling block has been his £35m price tag, but with the clock ticking towards 11pm could the Magpies accept a lower offer? If so, Sissoko is being tipped for a move to Spurs, who are known to be keen on the player – if not his valuation. If the fee drops, "Tottenham may reassess their options, especially if other targets fall by the wayside", says the London Evening Standard.

Wilfried Bony leaves Manchester City

Pep Guardiola clearly deems the striker to be surplus to requirements at Man City and could therefore try to force him through the exit door on deadline day. One intriguing scenario is that Everton might make a move for him. The Toffees would not have to sell but if they did buy Bony, it could prompt a last minute scramble from other clubs to lure Romelu Lukaku away from Goodison Park. An alternative outcome is that West Ham land the Ivory Coast striker on loan.

Man United spring a surprise

Last year, United produced the deal of the day when they signed teenager Anthony Martial for £36m. Could Jose Mourinho pull off something similar this summer? After signing Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, United are stronger in defence, midfield and attack, but the manager is known to be after some more defensive cover, with Jose Fonte on the wanted list and Marcos Rojo posed to depart for Valencia. Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror suggests there could be interest in Bordeaux striker Diego Rolan.

Recommended

All at sixes and sevens: a mad day in Premier League history
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian bumps fists with Aston Villa hat-trick hero Ollie Watkins
In Depth

All at sixes and sevens: a mad day in Premier League history

Sport shorts: foreign spectators could be barred from the Olympics
Tokyo Olympic Games
In Brief

Sport shorts: foreign spectators could be barred from the Olympics

Sport shorts: Lewis Hamilton reveals his ‘driving force’
Lewis Hamilton
In Brief

Sport shorts: Lewis Hamilton reveals his ‘driving force’

‘We’re keen to bring football home’: Johnson targets a trophy double 
Fifa World Cup trophy
Why we’re talking about . . .

‘We’re keen to bring football home’: Johnson targets a trophy double 

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 4 March 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 4 March 2021

Are Royal aides out to sink Meghan Markle - or is she really a ‘bully’?
Harry and Meghan Markle
Today’s big question

Are Royal aides out to sink Meghan Markle - or is she really a ‘bully’?

Who are the richest people in the world?
Jeff Bezos
In Focus

Who are the richest people in the world?