PARIS (AFP) – Beyond the lavish spending of the Premier League, there were few big-money deals and Paris Saint-Germain’s attempts to offload unwanted members of their squad animated the final day of the transfer window in Europe on Thursday (Sept 1).
Clubs on the continent have once again been far more frugal than their English counterparts over the summer, and instances of continental giants splashing huge sums in the final hours before the window closes are rare, in contrast to the spending habits of the Premier League.
According to specialist site Transfermarkt, gross spending by teams in England’s top flight had passed €2.2 billion (S$3.07 billion) by the time the transfer window there closed.
The difference compared to Europe’s other leading leagues is striking.
While the Premier League’s net spend topped €1.3 billion, clubs in Italy, Germany and France have all made a combined profit from transfers. Spain’s net spend sat at almost €65 million.
Few clubs in Europe can compete with the economic might of the Premier League, and few clubs on the continent can match PSG’s spending power.
The Qatar-owned club committed huge sums even before the window opened to persuade Kylian Mbappe to sign a new contract rather than move to Real Madrid.
They have since spent over €100 million in fees on new signings, including Spain midfielder Fabian Ruiz from Napoli, not to mention making Nuno Mendes’ loan from Sporting Lisbon permanent and signing Reims striker Hugo Ekitike on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season for a reported €36 million.
Just before the deadline on Thursday, they added Spanish international midfielder Carlos Soler from Valencia, with the fee reaching €20 million with bonuses, according to reports in Spain.
“It’s a new adventure in my career. I feel very proud and I’m looking forward to starting work with my teammates, to meeting them, and giving everything for this shirt,” Soler told PSG’s official website.
However, PSG’s attempts to sign Slovakia defender Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan fell through.
Instead the Ligue 1 side were busy offloading several outcasts, with Senegal midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye returning to former club Everton while Julian Draxler (Benfica), Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig) and Layvin Kurzawa (Fulham) all departed on loan.
All were once big-money buys but PSG needed to reduce their wage bill to try to respect Uefa’s financial sustainability regulations, even if these are less stringent than the old Financial Fair Play rules.